How To Make a Simple Sundial

Ages ago, telling time was definitely difficult. They didn’t have the luxury and convenience of watches and clocks. So, how did they tell time in the old days? First, they stuck a wood right into the ground. Then, they determined the time by observing the shadow being cast by the wood. Yes, it was quite crude. However, it was, in one way or another, very sensible.
Now, if you are working on a science project and your goal is to make your own sundial, worry no more. Here are some guidelines on how you can do it effortlessly:

  • Complete your materials. Start with your special gadgets. Get your map, protractor, drafting compass, and laser printer. Continue with your tools and materials. Prepare a heavy cardboard (or a disk of wood), some pencils, some felt-tip pens, and pieces of common nails. Of course, don’t forget getting copies of your local newspaper and securing your Internet access.
  • Create your sundial’s base. Bring out your heavy cardboard. If it is not available, a good substitute is a disk of wood. Its weight should be able to support the entire set up. Then, get one of your pencils. Use it to mark the cardboard’s center.
  • Set up your sundial’s gnomon. Don’t let the term overwhelm you. “Gnomon” is another word for sundial’s “hand.” You need to find the suitable item to serve as your sundial’s gnomon. It is actually one of the parts that can cast shadow into the dial. Your options include a pencil, a pen, or if you have opted to use a disk of wood, a nail.
  • Determine your sundial’s latitude. Refer to your map. If you are not adept in using a map, you can always go on-line. There are a number of Internet websites that can automatically compute your latitude.

    Continue by inserting the end of your sundial’s gnomon directly into the cardboard (or disk of wood). Insert it at the center. Note that the angle of your sundial’s gnomon vis-à-vis the face of your disk should match your latitude’s angle. Get your protractor in order to verify the accuracy of the angle of your sundial’s gnomon.

  • Create your sundial’s face. Do this by going on-line. Search for a website that permits you to indicate your latitude data and then, generate a horizontal diagram that perfectly matches your latitude. You can print that diagram and use it as your sundial’s face. Expect the diagram’s lines to radiate from the center and then, upward. After printing the diagram, place your disk on it. Your disk’s center point should be positioned right where the vertical and horizontal lines meet. Eventually, using your felt-tip pen, mark or label the specific lines indicating the hours. The diagram should serve as your guide.
  • Find your sundial’s north. Bring out your sundial. Allow its gnomon to look for its due north. Observe the resulting shadow. That should tell you the correct hour line.

So, that’s how you can comply with your science project. You should be able to make your simple sundial soon. Bear in mind that the instructions detailed here only apply to locations in the Northern Hemisphere.


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