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The Sundial at Kitt Peak

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R. Newton Mayall

AAVSO, Cambridge, Mass.




When I was asked to design the sundial in front of the Museum at Kitt Peak I was more than pleased, for it gave me a chance to work a semblance of astronomy into it. The design reflects the great telescope nearby, with its base and fork type mounting, the dial itself being the "telescope". The dial is of the equatorial type; that is, the dial plate lies in a plane parallel to that of the earth's equator. It is made of bronze. Apparent (sun) time is indicated by the shadow of a ball on a rod. The parallel lines vertical to the hour lines ar ethe "lines of declination", drawn here to represent certain times of the yer, and hence the shadow of the ball can be made to indicate the day of theyear, although on this dial you would have to estimate the day at certain periods. Also you can obtain the time of sunrise and sunset. A table on the rail of the fence enables you to obtain the standard time.


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