globe gif

For the December solstice (today), we made a GIF showing the axial tilt of the Earth—i.e. what makes the sun appear high or low in the sky depending on the season. It came from two original pages, showing six months each. Both had the caption “Positions de la Terre devant l'éclairement solaire, à midi, pendant les douze mois de l’année.” If you were to take a picture from the sun’s perspective at midday, this is what you’d see (given you were the same distance away).

The images come from Fig 182 and 183 of Les terres du ciel; voyage astronomique sure les autres mondes (1884) by Camille Flammarion, which is more speculative science than hard core treatise. Find out more by reading the Infinite Worlds chapter of our current exhibition, Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910If you are in Washington, D.C. over the holidays, do stop in the @amhistorymuseum to see it in person.