In astronomy, an analemma (/ˌænəˈlɛmə/; from Ancient Greek ἀνάλημμα (analēmma) 'support')[lower-alpha 1] is a diagram showing the position of the Sun in the sky as seen from a fixed location on Earth at the same mean solar time, as that position varies over the course of a year. The diagram will resemble a figure eight. Globes of Earth often display an analemma as a two-dimensional figure of equation of time vs. declination of the Sun.
The north–south component of the analemma results from the change in the Sun's declination due to the tilt of Earth's axis of rotation. The east–west component results from the nonuniform rate of change of the Sun's right ascension, governed by combined effects of Earth's axial tilt and orbital eccentricity.
One can photograph an analemma by keeping a camera at a fixed location and orientation and taking multiple exposures throughout the year, always at the same time of day (disregarding daylight saving time, if applicable).
Diagrams of analemmas frequently carry marks that show the position of the Sun at various closely spaced dates throughout the year. Analemmas with date marks can be used for various practical purposes.
Analemmas (as they are known today) have been used in conjunction with sundials since the 18th century to convert between apparent and mean solar time. Before this, the term had a more generic meaning that referred to a graphical procedure of representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions, now known as orthographic projection.
Although the term analemma usually refers to Earth's solar analemma, it can be applied to other celestial bodies as well.