Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Transits Time and Longitude

Here we showcase various natural and scientific phenomena related to the sun and solar alignments, and the quest for measuring time and longitude.

Dan-George Uza has prepared a calendar for 2018 "containing images of Romanian sundials and some daily astronomical information (the equation of time, the Sun's declination angle & zodiac sign, the Moon's phase & age etc.).... The calendar reflects the usual Romanian practice of starting weeks on Mondays, being the first working day, although orthodox religious calendars have reverted to starting weeks on Sundays due to religious reasons since 2011. The days of the week have been translated to their English counterparts for your convenience. Apart from the last two, which have different etymological background, they all closely follow the names of the ancient planets" Luni - Luna (Moon), Marti - Marţe (Mars), Miercuri - Mercury (Mercury), Joi - Joe/Jupiter (Jujpiter), Vineri - Venus (Venus) Sámbătă - from the Latin sa(m)bbatum meaning Sabbath, Duminica - from the Latin (dies) Dominica meaning day of the Lord. .... You may download the English version at the link below:"

Dan explains  that the calendar " includes a brief introduction to the Romanian calendar, such as an explanation for the names of the days and months, the dates of national holidays etc. This is actually my second calendar. I did the first one last year inspired by Fabio Savian's French Republican Calendar. A big thanks goes to Patrick Powers who was kind enough to correct my spelling mistakes for this English edition."

"The  astronomical data was generated in Sun Ephemeris, Gian Casalegno's excellent software. The calendar is freeware so you may of course share it. It's intended for A3++ size paper (330x483mm) but I guess simple A3 will do."

"Have a Happy New Year or - as we like to say in Romanian - La Multi Ani!"

Perryville Eclipse SundialPerryville Eclipse Sundial

In Perryville, Missouri, Perry County unveilled a sundial  commemprating the coming August 21st total solar eclipse. Mike Mohundro, Photojournalis for Hearland News (KFVS Channel 12) interviewed Trish Erzfeld, Perry Count Heritage Tourism Director, who said "We just wanted something after the eclipse is over with that the community can be proud of and reflect back on."  Mohundro went on to write "many organizations worked on this project together including Earthworks, the [North] American Sundial Society, St. Louis Stone Artist Abraham Mohler, Perry County and more."

The sundial, shown in a KFVS video and in the photo at right, is a horizontal white milk glass sundial now mounted on a large marble pedestal (watch the dial video at 

On the pedestal are three plaques, one entitled "Time" explaining how to convert the sundial's solar time to civil time as told by watches and cellphones. "Not a lot of people know how to read a sundial," Erzfeld said. "It's a teaching tool as well as a historical marker here on out." The second plaque entitled "Eclipse" shows the date and time when the August 21st eclipse starts and stops as seen in Perryville said Don Snyder, local member of the North American Sundial Society.  The third plaque "Sundial" indicates who was involved in creating the dial.

Mohundro quotes Erzfeld saying "Education is been our main focus through this whole solar eclipse even... There's just so many things that play into the science of it and a sundial is one of those things that people can learn from."

A sundial that only tells time during an eclipse?  Back in 2012 Bill Gottesman designed a peculiar dial to tell time by observing the angle between the cusps of the sun during the May 2012 eclipse.  Bill Gottesman is back at it with a more sophisticated version assisted by programmer Dan Axtell.  This time Bill and Dan give you an animated version of the cusp line, as well as detailed information of the line angle during the eclipse.  

This is for anywhere in North America that can see the partial or total eclipse.  Just enter your latitude and longitude and let the software create you a personal solar eclipse sundial. PLEASE DO NOT OBSERVE THE SUN DIRECTLY WITHOUT AN APPROVED SOLAR FILTER... OR, MAKE A SIMPLE PINHOLE CAMERA FROM A CARDBOARD BOX.

To make your solar eclipse sundial, go to

The North American Sundial Society will meet in St. Louis for their annual meeting and to observe the Great American Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.  Cities and towns across the US are planning events and raising awareness of both the beauty and hazards of the solar eclipse. For the last two years St. Louis groups have delivered more than 100 programs to area schools, libraries, cities, parks and businesses to raise awareness of this historic event which has not happened in St. Louis since the year 1442. 

Remember, except for the minute or two of totality, looking directly at the sun will do serious eye damage.  Use sun-safe eyeglasses (certified safe for solar viewing) available from many source (see links below or Amazon, etc.). Read about the Great American Eclipse coming near you:

St. Louis, IL:

Other Cities:

The 2017 August 21st solar eclipse will be commemorated by the US Postal Service with a unique thermochromic ink Forever Stamps: the stamp shows the total Eclipse of the Sun with its corona blocked by a black disk of the moon.  However, using the body heat of your thumb or fingers the eclipse image will reveal an underlying image of the moon. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools. Fred Espenak, "Mr. Eclipse" a retired NASA astrophysicist, took the photograph of both the eclipse (from Jalu, Libya on March 29, 2006) and the full moon.

The USPS  states that June 20, 1:30 p.m. MT will be theFirst-Day-of-Issue ceremony, taking place at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming (UW) in Laramie. The University is celebrating the summer solstice on June 20. Prior to the stamp issuance, visitors are encouraged to arrive at UW's Art Museum's Rotunda at 11:30 a.m. to witness a unique architectural feature at noon when a single beam of sunlight shines from down on a silver dollar embedded in the floor, marking noon on the summer solstice,

The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamps may be pre-ordered at in early June for delivery following the June 20 nationwide issuance.  The back of the stamp pane provides a map of the eclipse path and times it appears at cities across the US.

Back Panel of the Eclipse Stamp

Read more at: NASA Eclipse    and for observing tips