Member Made Solar Eclipse Sundial

By August 21, 2017Uncategorized

Generator member, Bill Gottesman is sharing his project to prevent time confusion during the eclipse.  Check out this handy DIY project to make an eclipse sundial!

Eclipse Sundial August 21, 2017

at latitude 44.480°, longitude 73.210° W

Max. coverage: 68%   Time of max. coverage: 2:40 pm EDT

This is an unusual sundial that tells time only during a solar eclipse, and only for the location for which it was designed.

To tell time during eclipse, set paper flat on the ground, oriented to true north. (To cheat, you can adjust the paper to match the sun at one of the time readings)

Project the sun’s image on to the dial using a pinhole card. The image will be small from a pinhole, but larger from binoculars. Visit to learn how to do this safely. Rotation will be most rapid near the eclipse maximum.

As the moon crosses in front of the sun, the sun’s crescent will rotate. Read time from the line that matches the sun’s crescent tips.

Curiously, the dial rotates clockwise for locations south of totality, and counter-clockwise for locations north of totality.

Designed by Bill Gottesman, member of the North American Sundial Society. This dial may be freely reproduced and distributed.

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