The Day After Equinox


March 21, 2001

Twice a year, at the spring and fall equinox, the sun rises straight east. I took this photo of the rising sun aligned with this east-west canal 24 hours after the spring equinox . Why didn't I take this picture on the actual day of the equinox, when the sun rises exactly east? Because (since I don't live near the equator) the sun rises at an angle; by the time it clears the distant mountains it has already shifted slightly south, as seen in this photo taken on the day of the equinox last year.

Date: March 21, 2001
Time: 6:35am MST
Location: Western Canal, Tempe, Arizona
Camera: Olympus OM-1 on fixed tripod
Film: Fuji Provia 100F slide
Focal length: 200 mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure time: 1/500 second
Scanned using a Nikon Coolscan LS-10E 35mm film scanner (no color correction)

This photograph appeared on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site on March 30, 2001 and March 20, 2004.

This photograph also appeared on NASA/USRA's Earth Science Picture of the Day site on April 3, 2001.

This photograph was published in the June 2005 issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine.

Publishers! A high-resolution version of this image is immediately available. For details click here.

Revised: September 17, 2009
Copyright © 2001 Joe Orman
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