Where to position a sundial?Asked by: Julia McDermott
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Sundials need to point in the direction of True North, and the style (either a sharp straight edge or thin rod, often located at the edge or tip of the gnomon) must be aligned with the Earth's rotational axis.View full answer
Just so, Which way do you face a sundial?
The gnomon, set to the correct latitude, has to point to the true South in the Southern hemisphere as in the Northern Hemisphere it has to point to the true North. The hour numbers also run in opposite directions, so on a horizontal dial they run anticlockwise (US: counterclockwise) rather than clockwise.
Herein, Can you put a sundial anywhere?. One can install a sundial anywhere, as long as it receives some light from the sun during a part of the day. The majority of people think that only a wall oriented south (or north in the southern hemisphere) can receive a sundial, but you should not restrict your choice to that.
Similarly, it is asked, What do you mount a sundial on?
Stumps and Logs. Perhaps the simplest, as well as the most natural stand for a sundial is a tall stump. If you have a stump, or even an unwanted tree in your garden that you plan to cut anyway, this makes an excellent place to mount a sundial.
How accurate is a sundial?
A sundial is designed to read time by the sun. This places a broad limit of two minutes on accurate time because the shadow of the gnomon cast by the sun is not sharp. Looking from earth the sun is ½° across making shadows fuzzy at the edge. The actual construction of a sundial can be very accurate.
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Sundials need to point in the direction of True North, and the style (either a sharp straight edge or thin rod, often located at the edge or tip of the gnomon) must be aligned with the Earth's rotational axis.
To find true north, turn the bezel the same magnitude and direction as your declination value. Most compasses will have degree markers on the bezel to help you do this. Next, line up your needle and your orienting arrow by turning your body again. You should now be facing true north!
- Break 'sundial' down into sounds: [SUN] + [DY] + [UHL] - say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them.
- Record yourself saying 'sundial' in full sentences, then watch yourself and listen.
Your sundial needs to be placed on a plinth which is horizontal, preferably in an area that sees the sun and it must be oriented towards the true North, which is very close to the Pole Star. Choose your location carefully.
In principle, a sundial can also be used during the night, provided that the moon is sufficiently bright and that the lunar age is known. The 'solar time' can then be obtained from the 'lunar time' (both expressed in equal hours) by adding four-fifths of an hour for each day of the lunar cycle.
The mathematician and astronomer Theodosius of Bithynia ( c. 160 BC to c. 100 BC) is said to have invented a universal sundial that could be used anywhere on Earth.
- A sundial doesn't work at night.
- A sundial doesn't work when the sun is hidden - by clouds, buildings, etc.
- A sundial only works at the latitude it is designed for - a sundial built for Ecuador woudl not be accurate in New Zealand.
If you have a sundial in your garden, and you want it to tell time accurately, today is one of the best days to set it. Go out at noon (1:00 p.m., if you're currently observing daylight savings time), and set yours to 12 o'clock. Sundials can be set on four dates each year for an accurate read.
The GPS receiver natively reads in true north, but can elegantly calculate magnetic north based on its true position and data tables; the unit can then calculate the current location and direction of the north magnetic pole and (potentially) any local variations, if the GPS is set to use magnetic compass readings.
Say it is two o'clock, draw an imaginary line between the hour hand and twelve o'clock to create the north-south line. You know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west so this will tell you which way is north and which way south. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere then it will be the other way round.
True north, which is a GPS bearing linked to the geographical location of the North Pole, works when Location Services is turned on. Magnetic north, on the other hand, depends on the Earth's natural magnetism, which changes based on your physical location. It works when Location Services is both on and off.
Place the sundial on the base but do not secure it. Use the compass to locate true north and point the gnomen in that direction. For the greatest accuracy, the gnomon must point to magnetic north, not true north but to get a "ballpark" directional reading, a standard compass reading is fine.
The gnomon of the vertical sundial makes an angle of 90°–L with the vertical (that is, an angle L with the horizontal), as shown in the side view in Figure 5. In the southern hemisphere, the vertical dial is north-facing. Unlike the equatorial dial, the hour angles are not equally spaced.
When the earth rotates about its axis, the sun appears to “move” across the sky, causing objects to cast shadows. ... In a normal horizontal sundial, the base platform is kept steady, while the gnomon is moved to reflect the changes due to the earth's axis tilt.
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