image copyright: Dennis di Cicco/Sky and Telescope; larger image
The photo shows a series of images of the sun photographed at the same time of day for a year. This pattern, called the analemma, results from both the elliptical orbit of Earth and the tilt of its axis. For more information, visit The Analemma.
Also, to see similar analemmas photographed at various times of day above Greece temples, go to the Stanford Solar Center. And to make an analemma on a globe, see the Analemma Project activity.
This feature was updated on July 2, 2009.
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Try this Exploratorium activity to explore colored shadows. With red, green, and blue light bulbs, you'll cast shadows with interesting colors (one, when the blue light is blocked, is quite a surprise!). To investigate the colors in white light, visit another Exploratorium activity, How to Build a Spectroscope!. Be sure to do this project with the supervision of an adult.