Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Solar Image Gallery - Scenic Phenomenon

Our sun and closest star is believed to be approximately 4600 million years old and is composed (by mass) of hydrogen (74.5%), helium (23.5%) and various other heavier elements (2%) such as oxygen and carbon. Due to this gaseous state, the sun does not rotate about its axis at one uniform rate but has the poles rotating at a slower rate than the equatorial region. It has a central temperature of 14 million degrees whereas the surface temperature is a mere 5500 C. With a diameter of 1.4 million km, it is about 109 times as wide as Earth whereas with a mass of 2 x 1030 kg, it is 335,000 times more massive than Earth. Of interest is the observation that its density of 1400 kg/m3 is only slightly more dense than water (1000 kg/m3).

Although the rising sun may seem to occur at approximately the same azimuth when observed from day to day, a longer term observational project will reveal this to be far from the truth. In fact, if we were to mentally note the azimuth of the rising sun around summer solstice in June and repeat this exercise around winter solstice in December, we will note that the sun has shifted by approximately 65 during the intervening six months!

This "moving target" involving the rising (or setting) sun is due to the elliptical nature of our planet's orbit around the sun which is responsible for the variable arrival of the sun on the local meridian by up to 16 minutes early or late and the "Equation of Time" which is described and documented elsewhere on this site along with the variable altitude due to earth's tilt in its axis of rotation (23.45) relative to its orbital plane.

Note: The image below is an extension of a prolonged effort to capture the rising full moon and Sun against notable foregrounds. The primary task in such an exercise is to very precisely reverse engineer the perspective of the foreground of interest with respect to its physical azimuth and altitude from my shooting location approximately 3110 meters southeast of the new suspension bridge at Chalkida. Such a distance was both desireable and ideal so as to have a greater balance between the apparent size of the suspension bridge in the foreground and Sol in the background and as indicated by the image below.

The stunning new bridge at Chalikda was constructed during the 1980's and 1990's and was made available to the public in July/1993. It spans the Strait of Euripos by joining mainland Greece with Chalkida, the capital city of Greece's second largest island, namely Euvoia. With a length of 694.5 meters and a width of 12.6 meters, the suspension bridge stands 34.5 meters above the waters of the strait immediately below while the two main pylons reach a further 28 meters below the water surface. The bridge is accessible to both automobiles and pedestrians owing to the presence of a driving lane and protected walkway in each direction.

Note: For additional photos of the sun and/or full moon against other well-known Greek archaeological grounds and sites, please click here.

Image Details
Solstice Sun and the Chalkida Bridge
Imaging Details

332,900 x Earth

Mean Eq Diameter:
109.1 x Earth

R.A / Dec:
05h 38m 20s /
23 20' 23"

152 million km

31.49 '

June 20, 2016
20:39 UT+3

Nea Lampsakou,
Euvoia, Greece

Takahashi FSQ-106/f5
Canon EOS 6D
Baader BCF2 Filter
Baader UV/IR-Cut Filter

1 x 1/500 sec
ISO 100
RAW Image Format
5472x3648 Image Size
Custom White Balance
Manual Mode
Continuous Servo Mode

Digital Photo Pro V2.1.1.4
Photoshop CS5

RAW to TIFF (16-bit) conv
JPG Compression