What's New Under The Sun

Thursday, 22 September 2022 20:41

The date is Sep. 22, 2022, the date of the fall equinox.  Although this is supposed to be the day of equal day and night, we know it's not exactly correct.  We measure daytime from sunrise to sunset, measured as the first and last light from the sun peaking over the horizon.  When we include sunrise and sunset plus atmospheric refration, at mid latitudes daylight wins by about 10...

Saturday, 27 August 2022 19:06

 Smithsonian Collection - Pocket sundial by Bourgaud of Nantes, 1660–1675. (MA.325565) From the National Museum of American History is an article about "How did a French pocket sundial end up buried in a field in Indiana?" published 20 July 2022 by Kidwell & Schechner.   It started in 1860 when Dr. Elisha Cannon, while plowing a field in Indiana, came...

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:17

The 2022 Sawyer Dialing Prize went to Frans Maes "for his creation of an introductory course on dialing, built on the idea of supervised self-study; for his successful multi-year running of that course in Europe; and for his inspiration of NASS’ development of a North American version.” Fred presented Frans with an award certification, the traditional cash prize of $250 and a custom made...

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 21:32

What makes a sundial?  Practically anything.  Sasch Stephens discusses how he became interested in dialing.  Since then he has turned many objects into solar time devices.  It takes some creative thinking to invision how a common object can become a working sundial.  One of the most recent projects turned a 54 x 28 foot south side of a building it into a giant sundial...

Sunday, 12 June 2022 22:00

Dr. Jeremy Robinson, (Naval Research Laboratory, Electronics Science and Technology Division) combined efforts with his father-in-law, Prof. Woodruff Sullivan (Univ. of Washington Dept. of Astronomy) to construct the World's Smallest Sundial. The competition was sponsored by Cadrans Solaires pour Tous and their record is being entered into the Guiness Book of World...

Saturday, 28 May 2022 17:28

Perhaps the smallest sundial goes to IBM with the printing of a sundial in a corner of a computer chip.  However it lacked a gnomon and could not really tell the time.  However, Chen Fong-shean, a Taiwanese miniature craftsman, was challenged by the French astronomical society to beat the Guiness World Record for smallest sundial held by an Italian.  The Italian dial created in...

Wednesday, 25 May 2022 14:42

NASS is saddened to report the passing of one of the UK’s pre-eminent sundial designer, Christopher St. J H Daniel who died on May 17, 2022. His works are to be found all over the UK, ranging from private commissions to major public works and to restorations and reconstruction of old and damaged sundials. After a 13-year career at sea, Christopher Daniel joined the staff of the National...

Thursday, 05 May 2022 15:48

Hochshule KaiserLautern Observatory.  HSKL Photo When is an astronomical observatory not an observatory? When it's playing the roll of R2-D2.  According to Atlas Obscura, "A university in Germany [Hochschule KaisersLautern, University of Applied Scieces Kaiserslautern at the Zweibrücken campus] has transformed its hilltop observatory into the charming likeness...

Friday, 29 April 2022 16:12

NASS is saddened to report that longtime member Harold Brandmaier died on April 11, 2022.  Throughout his long life, besides his ever-present sundials, Hal enjoyed stained glass, ship models, photography, travel, folk dance, and playing the hammered dulcimer and hand drums – always in company with his beloved wife Ginny.  Hal had been a member since NASS founding and stepped in to help...

Friday, 22 April 2022 14:45

On April 2, 2022 the Perseverance Martian rover's Mastcam-Z camera looked sunward and took a video of the eclipse of the sun by the "potato-shaped" moon Phobos.  According the NASA Mars Exploration Program site, "It’s the most zoomed-in, highest-frame-rate observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken from the Martian surface."  NASA reports that "Several Mars rovers have observed...

Saturday, 26 February 2022 17:52

The 27th annual meeting of the North American Sundial Society was held at the Holiday Inn – Vanderbilt in Nashville from 11-14 August.  The Thursday night social included meeting old friends, exchanging stories about sundials, and for a lucky dozen-plus attendees, receiving sundial books and related door prizes.  One of the highlights of Friday’s sundial tour was seeing the symbolic...

Thursday, 17 February 2022 20:35

According to NewAtlas.com (https://newatlas.com/architecture/sun-tower-open/), construction of the Sun Tower exhibition building and outdoor theater is underway in the Chinese city of Yantai. The tower is being constructed by a French firm, Ducks Sceno and the engineering firm Arup, raising to 50m (164 ft) gracefully into the sky.  The tower symbolizes the historic watch towers of...

AnalemmaticSundial LaLande 1784Drawing of Horizontal and Analemmatic Sundial
"Analemmatic or Azimuthal Dial"
J.J. de LaLande 1784

The Analemmatic Sundial SourceBook was first published in 2004, revised in 2014, and now is again available in digital form on CD or by download from the north American Sundial Society. What is it? It is a very comphrehensive reference to the origins, history, and modern evolution of the analemmatic sundial compiled and edited by Fred Sawyer III, President of NASS.

It started with J.L de Vaulezard publishing a small work of 15 pages in 1640 descibing the dial in vague terms, promising to reveal its construction later "if I see that the work has been well received by you...." Four years later de Vaulezard published his "Treatis of the origin, demonstration, construction and usage of the analemmatic dial". A decade later Samuel Foster published "Elliptical or Azimuthal Horologiography" further describing the analemmatic sundial. The SourceBook reprints a facsimile of this and three other of Foster's original works.

The Historical Period includes not only the works of de Vaulezard and Foster but works by Aubri, Tuttell, Richer, Parent, Bion, Lalande, Bedos de Celle, Lambert, Oberreit, Boutereau, Meikle, Perret, Peaucellier, Viala, Lisbonne, Gruey, Marchand, Roguet and Chomard. For over 250 years these authors provide the earliest proof of the analemmatic dial, the introduction of the Foster/Lambert, diametral, and Parent variations, as well as many important historical and theoretical discussions of the analemmatic dial and its properties.

Study of the analemmatic sundial had a revival at the turn of the 20th century and again beginning in 1986 with the publication of "Equator Projection Sundials" by de Rijk. Other articles include R.J. Vinck's "Times of Sunrise and Sunset on the Analemmatic Sundial" further descriptions of seasonal points by Bailey and Sonderegger.  Vinck's "The Elliptical, Circular and Linear Dials" detailing of the mathematical foundation of a whole class of azimuthal sundials with examples of strange looking sundials by Sawyer, Olgesby, Gianni, Massé, Sassenburg, Sonderegger, and Rouxel.

Fred Sawyer III has a number of articles within the Analemmatic SourceBook, including "Of Analemmas, Mean Time and the Analemmatic Sundial", "Foster's Diametrical Sundial", and many more.

The Analemmatic Sundial SourceBook provides a rich historical and mathematical account of the Analemmatic Sundial and its modern derivatives. Order yours today by clicking here: NASS Publications Order Form

Open the "Read More" to see the detailed contents

Section I An Historical Overview

1 Janin, 1974. The analemmatic sundial: history and developments.

2 Sawyer, 2003. Desperately seeking Vaulezard – a tale of frustration.

Section II The Historical Period

3 de Vaulezard, 1640. Treatise or usage of the analemmatic dial.

4 de Vaulezard, 1644. Treatise of the origin, demonstration, construction and usage of the analemmatic dial.

Analemmatic Elliptical Horologiography Foster 16545(1) Foster, 1654. Elliptical or azimuthal horologiography.

5(2) Foster, 1654. Circular horologiography

5(3) Foster, 1654. Rectilineal or diametral horologiography.

5(4) Foster, 1654. Elliptical horologiography

6 Aubri, 1680. The use of the horloge or dyall azimutall.

7 Ozanam, 1694 Drawing a horizontal dial on the ground with plants

8 Tuttell, 1698. The description and uses of a new contriv'd eliptical double dial.

9 Richer, 1701. To trace a portable analemmatic dial, which can also be traced in a garden.

10 Parent, 1701. Universal horizontal dial composed of an azimuthal and a horizontal.

11 Parent, 1701. Of a new analemmatic rectilinear universal dial which orients itself.

12 Bion, 1709. The construction and use of the analemmatick or ecliptick horizontal dial.

13 de LaLande, 1757. Problem of gnomonics. To trace an analemmatic, azimuthal, horizontal, elliptic dial whose style is an indefinite vertical line.

Analemmatic de Celles 176014 Bedos de Celles, 1760. Analemmatic dial.

15 Lambert, 1770. Remarks and appendices on gnomonics.

16 Lambert, 1775. A new type of sundial.

17 de Castillon, 1776. Azimuthal or analemmatic dial.

18 de Lalande, 1784. Dial. Analemmatic or azimuthal dial.

19 Oberreit, 1786. On a new kind of sundial invented by Lambert.

20 Anonymous, 1808. A horizontal sundial. Without center, without hour lines and without gnomon.

21 Boutereau, 1845. Azimuthal dials.

22 Meikle, 1852. Dials with variable centres.

Analemmatic Oberreit 178623 Perret, 1856. Description of the Dijon sundial.

24 Peaucellier, 1856. Theory of the Dijon sundial, its generalization.

25 Viala, 1862. Theory and construction of the portable sundial called analemmatic.

26 Lisbonne, 1873. Azimuthal sundial

27 Gruey, 1902. The Dijon sundial.

28 Gruey, 1902. On a problem of gnomonics.

29 Marchand, 1902. Sundial.

30 Chomard, 1906. The analemmatic dial and the retrogradation of the shadow.

31 Roguet, 1912. The sundial at Brou.

Section III The Modern Era

Analemmatic de Rijk 198632 de Rijk, 1986. Equator projection sundials.

33 Rohr, 1989. Lambert’s circles

34 Sawyer, 1991. A self-orienting equiangular sundial.

35 Sawyer, 1992. Foster's diametral sundial.

36 Sawyer, 1994. Of analemmas, mean time and the analemmatic sundial.

37 Oglesby, 1995. A sundial to enjoy.

38 Terwilliger, 1995. Two layout tools for analemmatic dials.

Analemmatic Angle Sawyer 199939 Vinck, 1996. Times of sunrise and sunset on the analemmatic sundial.

40 Aulenbacher, 1996. Analemmatic sundials.

41 Vinck, 1996. The elliptical, circular and linear dials.

42 Massé, 1998. Central projection analemmatic sundials.

43 Massé, 1998. Two mean-time analemmatic sundials.

44 Sassenburg, 1998. Analemmatic sundial with fixed gnomon

45 Ferrari, 1999. Rectilinear analemmatic sundials.

46 Sawyer, 1999. The NASS angel.

47 de Vries, 2000. Multiple analemmatic sundials.

48 Bailey & Miklos, 2003. Elliston Park analemmatic sundial: Calgary, Alberta.