Serotinal autumnal nyctemphemeral parity

Today is the Autumnal Equinox. The Sun crosses the celestial equator on its southerly course at 20:44 GMT (at the very time I scheduled this to auto-post itself). You knew that because in the traditional Roman calendar, so much more closely harmonized with the rhythms of nature and Mother Earth, we observed the September Ember Days.

Here is a magnificent photo from APOD.  This is a solar analemma above the Temple of Apollo in ancient Corinth. This is especially appropriate today, since the Epistle for Holy Mass (18th Sunday after Pentecost) was from 1 Corinthians. The Sun’s position is at the upper mid-point.

This was made from exposures through the year on a single piece of film at the same time of day from 7 January to 20 December 2003.

Lesson from the first letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 1:4-8)

Brethren: I give thanks to my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, because in everything you have been enriched in Him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; even as the witness to the Christ has been made so firm in you that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will also keep you secure unto the end, unimpeachable in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Time marches on.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    Father Z, have you given any thought to doing some part time work at the Vatican Observatory? ;-)

    Br.Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J., an American in charge of Public Relations there, has written some great books on astronomy, e.g.

  2. RidersOnTheStorm says:

    The first analemma ever imaged perfectly vertical on the southern meridian.

    Summer Solstice 21st June at top and Winter Solstice 21st December at bottom.

  3. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Today we switch from sherry to port. Winter’s coming on, and all, you know.

  4. Legisperitus says:

    The commentary at APOD says the image of the temple at Corinth was “digitally merged” with the image of the analemma. So it wasn’t actually photographed there.

  5. NBW says:

    Very cool Fr. Z! It looks a little like the Christian symbol the fish. I hope Ember & Rogation days make a big come back; prayer and fasting is both good for the soul and pleasing to God.

  6. Jim Dorchak says:

    Last night the whole family watched with the naked eye the ISS (International Space Station) pass overhead. The sky is so clear here and there are no lights that you can easily see the Milky Way. So as the ISS passed over head at 17,000 mph it was quite exciting. We could make out the shape with binoculars. It was well lit from the suns light reflecting on it as the ISS was outside the shadow of the earth and as it proceeded across the horizon West to East it became dark or dim as the ISS passed into the dark side of the earth. I only wish we could have taken pictures, but it was really moving across the sky. Also we used the IPAD to locate the ISS on the horizon. Quite the nifty tool.

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