: a plot or graph of the position of the sun in the sky at a certain time of day (as noon) at one locale measured throughout the year that has the shape of a figure 8; also : a scale (as on a globe or sundial) based on such a plot that shows the sun’s position for each day of the year or that allows local mean time to be determined
— an·a·lem·mat·ic adjective – Webster’s Dictionary
Beautiful photo, huh? The definition doesn’t do it justice.
The winter solstice makes me wonder…does the lowest dot on the analemma represent the shortest day of the year? (That would be just left of the center of the fluffy cloud, by the way.) As a non-scientist, the idea of photographing the position of the sun intrigues me for reasons I can’t fathom. Perhaps it’s the daily routine, the high-tech camera equipment required, or perhaps the end result…a gorgeous figure eight framing the graceful twist of infinity. My fascination with the analemma reminds me of the ancients’ creation of Stonehenge and the Anasazi’s pilgrimages to local formations which captured the sun as it rose, flooding the Earth with information and omens. The movements of the sun are still important to us because, like the Anasazi, we still seek signs from the sky, knowledge from the sun, anything to guide us through the universe.
This time of year, with its many religious and secular celebrations, I always feel a bit like these ancient folks. I’m confounded by the events of our world and in need of explanation of the mysteries of life. But, as a realist, I know these annual events are just that: beautiful, predictable, undeniable.
All the same, deep in there somewhere, mystery and hope overrides rationality. Maybe people long ago tapped the conduit to the heavens; maybe they were closer to the truth than we can ever be.
Wonderful Solstice and Happy Holidays greetings, blogging friends:)
What mystical feelings do you ponder?
Analemma – NASA