This and That

Random bits of my life

Sunrise over Amman

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 6, 2009

Sunrise over Amman

I woke up at 5:20 a.m. today to get this shot. It was taken from Maale Adumim, facing Jordan. The buildings to the right of the sun are the Jordan Gate twin towers in Amman, about 60 km away.

So why was I up at that hour? Because I received an email from R, a neighbour and member of the Israel New Moon Society. The Israel New Moon Society was formed to revive the ancient Jewish custom of observing the new moon at the beginning of each lunar month.

Dear Avital,

Towards the end of the week (I think Thursday or Friday) at 06:00 you will be able to see the Sun rise over the Jordan Gate Twin Towers, Amman from next to the Up Shul. I would recommend trying your old camera with the longest telephoto and manual exposure to minimum aperture and minimum exposure time.


Dear Avital,

I checked the position of the Sunrise this morning and calculate (I hope that I am correct) that the best artistic effect would be this Friday at 06:01½ with most of the Sun above the horizon. If not then Thursday 6th May 2010 at 05:52¼.


It took me a little while to notice that the second time was in 2010. 2010?! Better mark it down in my calendar!

Today was actually a dry run, since the date he mentioned is tomorrow (I’m not sure how much the sun will have changed its position in 24 hours, though).

I took both cameras, the Canon S5 and the Canon Rebel XSi. The photos taken with the XSi weren’t very good — I don’t have a lens for that camera that is the equivalent of the 10x zoom of the S5. (Take note, all you folks who have point-and-shoot cameras and are pining for a DSLR! You’ll find that to get the same quality of zoom and macro lenses as a good point-and-shoot costs a lot of $$$$.) The S5 was on a tripod.

If I do this tomorrow, I’ll take the S5, a tripod, and bug repellant.

Update. Just got another email. I guess I’m setting my alarm early again!

Dear Avital,

The Sun will be 20′ to the right tomorrow putting the left of the left tower at the center of the Sun when it is at that height. If you move 90 m to the right (if you were at the Up Shul, move to the parking lot by the migrash) then the towers will be centered on the Sun. Note that the towers are 57 km away so you can check my calculations if your wish.
Good luck.



Here’s a map showing Maale Adumim and Amman. Originally I tried linking to the Google map but the link did not show the roads and cities on the Israeli side of the border.

Map showing Maale Adumim and Amman

Map showing Maale Adumim and Amman


5 Responses to “Sunrise over Amman”

  1. nice shot.


  2. Yitzhak Zuriel said

    How wondrous are thy works, O Lord!

    Thanks, Avital, for sharing this stunning photo.

  3. Shlomo said

    An incredible photograph.Everything I was told it was,and better.Kol Hakavod.

  4. […] My alarm was set for 5:15 but I often wake up early if I have to get up for something. Last August, I photographed these towers with a Canon PowerShot S5IS, because I only had the 18-55mm kit lens. Since then, I’ve […]

  5. […] tomorrow.” (If you don’t believe me, look at my photos of Amman taken this year and last year. That experience really made me appreciate the importance of the sun’s position on a given […]

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