In Search of… the Analemma

Well happy Winter Solstice to you all! The first sign of summer is upon us, the days are now getting longer.

Actually the first sign of summer (at least in my eyes) started back on December 10th here in Duluth. The sunsets started to get later on that date. We have already gained 3 minutes on the sunset side of things since December 10. Unfortunately in the that same time frame, the sunrises are now 8 minutes later. Sunrises do not start becoming earlier until January 2nd.

This effect is more pronounced further south. Let’s pick a random southern town in the U.S. How about Sarasota, FL. The sunsets there have been getting later since November 30. Sunsets are now 6 minutes later since that date. Sunrises don’t make the turn until January 12th in this area of the world. So Sarasota has 43 days in which the sunrises and sunsets are getting later at the same time.

Who can we blame this on? The elliptical orbit the earth has around the sun and the tilt of the spin axis of the earth. The result of these two factors produces the analemma. Here are some cool pictures of the analemma.

One complaint. Why the holy heck of jehovah’s witnesses did analemma have to start with the word anal?

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