Anthem Veterans Memorial
Sun Alignment on Nov 11th
[photo: Anthem Veterans Memorial Committee and Mike Spinelli]
The Anthem Veterans Memorial in Anthem, AZ was dedicated on November 11, 2011 at 11am (11-11-11 11:11:11) to honor the service and sacrifice of the United States armed forces and to provide a place of honor and reflection for veterans, their family and friends. Veterans gather here annually on November 11th to watch a solar alignment at 11:11am when the sun precisely illuminates The Great Seal of the United States. The memorial was designed by Renee Palmer-Jones, and constructed under the guidance of Project Engineer Jim Martin and construction expert Steve Rusch.
Five years ago in 2009 RADM (Ret) Ron Tucker began an effort to create a Veterans Memorial in Anthem, AZ. Ron knew Renee Palmer-Jones, a gifted local artist and sculptor, whom he asked to create a memorial design. He then went to other Anthem friends, Jim Martin and Steve Rusch who enthusiastically joined the project which eventually would cost $190,000.
Renee's first sketch of the memorial was a drawing on the back of a napkin emphasizing the sun's alignment. She envisioned five marble pillars ranging in size from 6 feet to 17 feet standing in a row to honor the veterans of the five military services (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard). Within each massive pillar is an elliptical opening, precisely aligned to allow a beam of sunlight to shine on a mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States at exactly at 11:11am every year on November 11, Veterans Day (Armistice Day). Renee said, "My intent was to make Veterans Day significant and to distinguish it from any other day of the year by using the sun's azimuth in Anthem at that exact time." (Sundialists realize that the sun's declination of -17.28o on Veteran's Day also occurs around February 1st causing a second solar alignment at the memorial.).
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In 1636 or 1637 Samuel Foster, a distinguished Professor of astronomy at Gresham College produced a manuscript that describes the construction and use of an analemmatic sundial, a vertical sundial, and a declining sundial.
The collection of 12 pages on four double leafs each measure 15 x 18 cm. This manuscript relates to Samuel Foster's most important invention, a computational device known as a dialling scale, and precedes the publication of his second and most significant book in 1638 "The Art of Dialling: by a New, Easie, and Most Speedy Way ..."
Amelia Peabody Sundial - Dover Town Library
photo: Maureen Sullivan (Wicked Local Dover)
Although Amelia Peabody died in 1984, her legacy and interest in sundials continues. In 1920 she moved to Dover, Delaware, and began raising thoroughbred horses. Ultimately she purchased more than 800 acres in Dover, becoming its largest land owner. She built three houses on her Powisset Farm, three other houses on other properties, and another called the Sun House at 145 Powisset St. in Dover.
As Eleanor Tedesco reports in the Wicked Local Dover on-line news, “The Sun House reflected her interest in heat generated by the power of the sun and was the first of its kind in New England. But the house failed to reach its goal of heating the building with the sun’s heat.” But true to its name, a graceful sundial in the shape of a Nautilus shell decorated her yard.
Larisa N. Vodolazhskaya of the Department of Space Physics at Southern Federal University (SFU), Rostov, has brought two ancient time keepers together with a new and startling result. The story starts at the turn of the end of the 19th century with the discovery of an L-shaped bar found in the tomb of Thutmose III (1479-1425 BCE). that appeared to be a sundial. In the 1930's a "user manual" of sort was found carved on the tomb ceiling of Seti I (1290-1279 BCE) at Abydos. The ideal L-shaped bar had lines engraved with distances from a starting mark of 3, 6, 9, and 12 units. The Seti I text describes these spacings as "an established procedure". But what is the procedure?
Westminster Dial with Analemma Casting Mirror on Top
Photo Credit: Robert Clark
How do you get the people of your town interested in astronomy? Robert (Bob) L. Clark a retired professor of mathematics and computer science and member of the Westminster Astronomical Society had the obvious answer: Build a unique sundial.
In the grassy field next to Hoffman’s Ice Cream in Westminster, the Westminster Astronomical Society dedicated a simple horizontal dial attached to a pole with a unique “ornament” … a vertical south facing mirror.