APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

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APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby APOD Robot » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:05 am

Image Solargraphy Analemmas

Explanation: Today is the equinox. The Sun crosses the celestial equator heading north at 16:57 UT, marking the northern hemisphere's first day of spring. To celebrate, consider this remarkable image following the Sun's yearly trek through planet Earth's sky, the first analemmas exposed every day through the technique of solargraphy. In fact, three analemma curves were captured using a cylindrical pinhole camera by daily making three, separate, one minute long exposures for a year, from March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014, on a single piece of black and white photographic paper. The well-planned daily exposures began at 10:30, 12:00, and 13:30, CET from a balcony looking south from the Kozanów district in Wrocław, Poland. That year's two equinoxes on March 20 and September 22 correspond to the mid-points, not the cross-over points, along the figure-8 shaped curves. Apparent gaps in the curves are due to cloudy days. Two solid lines at the lower left were both caused by a timer switch failure that left the pinhole shutter open.

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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Nitpicker » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:37 am

A cute and no doubt fun project. Having an electronic timer switch somewhat spoils the simplicity of the pinhole camera. A timer controlled by a vintage 19th century time piece -- from the time of the birth of photography -- might be a fun addition.

I can understand the use of a pinhole camera left continually open to image the Sun's path over a year, since most "modern, normal" cameras are not designed to cope with being continually open for so long. But a modern camera could be programmed and affixed to capture this scene with 1095 separate, short, well timed exposures.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Boomer12k » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:45 am

Oh....I see....3 times a day....instead of just one time. 3 positions for the Sun each day.. gives 3 Analemmas..., I get it....COOOOOOL!!! 8-)

Very Smart idea!!!!
Very interesting project.

And the explanation for the Spectrum Effect????? Shooting through Glass???

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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby HyperMinimalism » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:10 am

I see some ghosting analemmas in the upper right and left. How can those be explained? Does it have something to do with the wave nature of photons?
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby geckzilla » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:25 am

HyperMinimalism wrote:I see some ghosting analemmas in the upper right and left. How can those be explained? Does it have something to do with the wave nature of photons?

The camera was behind a window. If I had to guess, I would say it's our old friend the double pane glass ghost. You can see that the angle of the analemma to the upper left matches the angle of the third sun position while the analemma on the right matches the angle of the first sun position so you can imagine the reflection of the sun moving across the window as the sun makes its progress through the sky. We have a massive thread and an APOD about this effect.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Nitpicker » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:33 am

I don't think the cameras are behind glass. They are gaffa-taped to a metal balcony railing. Following the "The well-planned daily exposures began" link, led me to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGm-_mPD4Ko

Pinhole cameras -- especially home-made ones -- are not noted for their accuracy and precision. I think that explains most of the aberrations and artefacts we see in the image.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby geckzilla » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:26 am

Must be internal reflections, then.

(And my brain must be inventing memories again, because for some reason I was sure that I read they were in a window)
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Maciej Zapior » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:56 am

The cameras were not behind the glass. Ghosting analemmas are caused by internal reflection inside the cylindrical camera. It is common in solargraphy. See for example:
http://solarigrafia.pl/imgs/3452/podglad.html
Please visit http://www.analemma.pl for details of the project.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Joules » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:08 am

Nitpicker wrote:I don't think the cameras are behind glass. They are gaffa-taped to a metal balcony railing. Following the "The well-planned daily exposures began" link, led me to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGm-_mPD4Ko
Lovely! If I were to leave a pipe pinehole camera like that taped to my balcony for a year, I'd seal a piece of cellophane or glass? over the pinhole to prevent storm-blown water from getting through and wrecking the photo-paper. Last I checked, they do not make saran-wrap with antireflection coating, so it could be a source of ghosting.
The 3 exposure idea was brilliant. It works really well for a not digitally constructed and stacked format. We should send the photographer to mars, so he could improve on the simulated analemma for that distant world: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061230.html
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby jambo » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:05 pm

I don't understand why the only season that is apparent in the scenery seems to be summer. I would have expected some evidence of snow.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:33 pm

Nitpicker wrote:A cute and no doubt fun project. Having an electronic timer switch somewhat spoils the simplicity of the pinhole camera. A timer controlled by a vintage 19th century time piece -- from the time of the birth of photography -- might be a fun addition.

I wonder if there's something that could operate for a year without requiring winding or weight setting?

I can understand the use of a pinhole camera left continually open to image the Sun's path over a year, since most "modern, normal" cameras are not designed to cope with being continually open for so long. But a modern camera could be programmed and affixed to capture this scene with 1095 separate, short, well timed exposures.

Of course, and we see quite a few analemma pictures these days captured that way. Not a trivial project, but not especially difficult, either. But that wasn't really the point here, was it?
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby maciejzapior » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:40 pm

jambo wrote:I don't understand why the only season that is apparent in the scenery seems to be summer. I would have expected some evidence of snow.

You need to take into account that during summer the day is longer. Also we have supplementary expositions in mornings (6.00 - 8.00) and evenings (16.00 - 18.00) because 3 minutes exposition per day (1 minute per 1 analemma) would not give visible landscape using solargraphy technique. So during winter real exposition time (during day) was shorter. In winter in Wroclaw Sun rises at 7:45 approx and sets at 15:45 approx. So exposition during this period was 30 min per day. Summarizing: summer days have higher weight in the landscape.
Please visit: http://www.analemma.pl for details.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Nitpicker » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:47 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:A cute and no doubt fun project. Having an electronic timer switch somewhat spoils the simplicity of the pinhole camera. A timer controlled by a vintage 19th century time piece -- from the time of the birth of photography -- might be a fun addition.

I wonder if there's something that could operate for a year without requiring winding or weight setting?

I can understand the use of a pinhole camera left continually open to image the Sun's path over a year, since most "modern, normal" cameras are not designed to cope with being continually open for so long. But a modern camera could be programmed and affixed to capture this scene with 1095 separate, short, well timed exposures.

Of course, and we see quite a few analemma pictures these days captured that way. Not a trivial project, but not especially difficult, either. But that wasn't really the point here, was it?


If it needed winding every few days or weeks, that would be okay.

But perhaps I just don't see the point here. Maybe I'm just prejudiced against pinhole cameras. I haven't made one since 1985 but I remember taking several forgettable images with it.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:58 pm

Nitpicker wrote:But perhaps I just don't see the point here. Maybe I'm just prejudiced against pinhole cameras. I haven't made one since 1985 but I remember taking several forgettable images with it.

I don't think the fundamental concept here is pinhole photography so much as it is the photographic technique of capturing imagery directly on unprocessed photosensitive materials.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Kupi Gabor » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:49 pm

Why is it so colourful, if it was taken on a black and white photographic paper?
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:12 pm

Kupi Gabor wrote:Why is it so colourful, if it was taken on a black and white photographic paper?

Because the paper wasn't developed. You're looking at a completely different photochemical reaction than the one normally utilized in photography. The massive overexposure causes silver atoms to build up on the silver halide salts in the paper, and the density of silver atoms results in different colors- yellow, brown, brick, bluish-gray. Since the paper isn't stable, it needs to be scanned, so in some cases the color may be enhanced by digital processing, as well. But a good range of color is native to the chemistry.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby FloridaMike » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:53 pm

Oh, I totally get doing this and have been itching to do something like this for a while. Creating a solar calendar on the north wall of our foyer was vetoed by the wife so… The photographer’s web site says fewer people have captured the analemma than have walked on the moon. That is a bonus. But just thinking it through, the sun get so high down here in Florida, just 5 degrees from zenith. It will take a wide vertical angel design to capture more landscape than just the tops of palm trees.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby neufer » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:28 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Proteus_Steinmetz wrote:
<<Charles Proteus Steinmetz (April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923) was a mathematician and electrical engineer. He fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers. He made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electromagnetic apparatus equipment including especially electric motors for use in industry.

Steinmetz was born as Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz into a Jewish family in Breslau/Wrocław, Province of Silesia. Steinmetz suffered from dwarfism, hunchback, and hip dysplasia, as did his father and grandfather. Steinmetz attended Johannes Gymnasium and astonished his teachers with his proficiency in mathematics and physics. Following the Gymnasium, Steinmetz went on to the University of Breslau to begin work on his undergraduate degree in 1883. He was on the verge of finishing his doctorate in 1888 when he came under investigation by the German police for activities on behalf of a socialist university group and articles he had written for a local socialist newspaper. Steinmetz fled to Zürich in 1888 to escape possible arrest. Faced with an expiring visa, he emigrated to the United States in 1889. He changed his first name to Charles in order to sound more American and chose the middle name Proteus after a childhood taunt given to him by classmates. Proteus was a wise hunchbacked character from the Odyssey who knew many secrets and he felt it suited him.

Steinmetz's work revolutionized AC circuit theory and analysis, which had been carried out using complex, time-consuming calculus-based methods. By 1893, Steinmetz simplified these complicated methods to "a simple problem of algebra". He was the first to use complex number phasor representation, whereby the letter j is used to designate the 90 degree rotation operator in AC system analysis.

Steinmetz was called the "forger of thunderbolts", being the first to create artificial lightning in his football field-sized laboratory and high towers built at General Electric, using 120,000 volt generators. He erected a lightning tower to attract lightning and studied the patterns and effects of lightning resulting in several theories and ideas. In The Simpsons, his name was used as a kind of expletive by the industrialist character Mr. Burns ("Oh, quit cogitating, Steinmetz!") in reference to someone who was overthinking.>>
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby LocalColor » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:47 pm

This inspires us to get back to our analema project. We have tried this a few times, and after 6 months found out the camera was in the wrong place and either the winter or summer solstice suns were outside of the field of view we set up. (The first one was started in the summer and missed the winter, so started again in the winter and missed the summer.) We hope to have a better field of view from a new location this summer.

These images require a lot more planning that we first realized.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Nitpicker » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:15 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:But perhaps I just don't see the point here. Maybe I'm just prejudiced against pinhole cameras. I haven't made one since 1985 but I remember taking several forgettable images with it.

I don't think the fundamental concept here is pinhole photography so much as it is the photographic technique of capturing imagery directly on unprocessed photosensitive materials.


Are there other kinds of cameras that can record the Sun directly on unprocessed photosensitive materials?

I suppose another of their possible fundamental concepts, could have been to record the images using home-made gear to the greatest extent possible. That is certainly a worthy goal with an impressive result. So, I'll withdraw my criticism.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Lll » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:11 pm

How is 20th March the start of northern hemisphere spring, is the 21st June is mid-summer?
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:17 pm

Lll wrote:How is 20th March the start of northern hemisphere spring, is the 21st June is mid-summer?

The same convention that defines the equinox as the start of spring also defines the solstice as the start of summer. There is a less common convention that defines the solstice as mid-summer, but it also defines the equinox as mid-spring.
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Re: APOD: Solargraphy Analemmas (2014 Mar 20)

Postby neufer » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:36 pm

Lll wrote:
How is 20th March the start of northern hemisphere spring, is the 21st June is mid-summer?

Astronomical summer solstice produces a maximal heating of the oceans which slowly reach their peak temperatures about 3 months later (during peak hurricane season). The warmest land temperatures occur in between these times which is considered meteorological mid summer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer wrote:
<<Midsummer, also known as St John's Day, is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the Northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 21 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. Because he was alleged to have been born on that day, the Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist, and the observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St John's Eve. Midsummer is especially important in the cultures of Scandinavia, and the Baltics. In Sweden the Midsummer is such an important festivity that there have been serious discussions to make the Midsummer's Eve into the National Day of Sweden.

Solstice celebrations still center around the day of the astronomical summer solstice. Some choose to hold the rite on June 21, even when this is not the longest day of the year, and some celebrate June 24, the day of the solstice in Roman times.

The celebration of Midsummer's Eve (St. John's Eve among Christians) was from ancient times a festival of the summer solstice. Some people believed that golden-flowered mid-summer plants, especially Calendula, and St. John's Wort, had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southward again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other powerful beings.

As Christianity entered pagan areas, midsummer celebrations came to be often borrowed and transferred into new Christian holidays, often resulting in celebrations that mixed Christian traditions with traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities. The 13th-century monk of Winchcomb, Gloucestershire, who compiled a book of sermons for the feast days, recorded how St. John's Eve was celebrated in his time: Let us speak of the revels which are accustomed to be made on St. John's Eve, of which there are three kinds. On St. John's Eve in certain regions the boys collect bones and certain other rubbish, and burn them, and therefrom a smoke is produced on the air. They also make brands and go about the fields with the brands. Thirdly, the wheel which they roll.

The fires, explained the monk of Winchcombe, were to drive away dragons, which were abroad on St. John's Eve, poisoning springs and wells. The wheel that was rolled downhill he gave its explicitly solstitial explanation: The wheel is rolled to signify that the sun then rises to the highest point of its circle and at once turns back; thence it comes that the wheel is rolled.>>
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