[photo credit: Andrew Bray - The Miami Sudent News]
Some dials are lost, others found. Last year students walking through the central quad of Miami University located in Oxford, Ohio, saw that the Tri Delta Sundial, a nearly 2 meter armillary dial, was missing. The armillary was a gift to the university on its 50th anniversary in 1962 by the Miami chapter of Tri Delta. [See the NASS Registry for details]
On September 22, 2011 Penn State University dedicated a massive granite sundial donated by trustee and alumnus Joel Myers. Designed and sculptured by artist Mark Mennin, it is installed in the university's arboretum. At the dedication Myers said, "We wanted to create something unique...The sundial is to be a destination". Though still lacking a few final touches, such as a bit of polishing, the large granite dial is functional and tells time to the nearest minute.
The monumental sundial in Sun City Arizona has been saved! The famous dial has been totally restored to its former glory, perhaps even better than the original. On Friday, October 7, 2011 a formal re-dedication ceremony will begin at 8:30 am.
September 11th is a time of remembrance. At Freedom High School in Woodbridge, Virginia stands a large sundial dedicated in 2004 with four inlaid plaques. The plaques are arranged on the ground such that the gnomon shadow tip falls on them at 8:45, 9:03, 9:37 and 10:07 AM, the times of the four air crashes. Near the sundial is a low, black granite panel commemorating the citizens of Prince William County that lost their lives on September 11th, and the names of those citizen are on bricks surrounding the sundial.
A nearly three-century old brass sundial was stolen in the early overnight hours of August 9 from the grounds of Avington Park in Itchen Abbas, near Winchester (England). Local officials say the dial is large enough it would have required several people to move it. The dial is valued at over £100,000 and is very distinctive.
[photo credit: Vincent Kessler]
A three dimensional sundial house? You can find it at 10 rue du Diebach, Cosswiller near Strasbourg in the countryside of Alsace in France. Eric Wasser has created the "Heliodome", a tilted circular building aligned with the earth's polar axis that is a far cry from the old Buckminister Fuller "Bucky Domes".
The house has a glassed southern exposure to allow sunlight during the winter, but from the equatorial belt forward the house has a nearly conventional roof providing shade during the summer. As Wasser explains on his website, "The passive solar house is an architectural volume, a Heliodome, determined by the diurnal and annual trajectory of the sun." Read more about the details at http://www.heliodome.com/equipe.html.
One of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Pantheon in Rome is an enduring testament to the power and glory of ancient Rome. At the same time, it has also always posed something of a mystery. The only source of natural lighting is a thirty-foot diameter hole at the very top of the hemispherical dome, often referred to as the "oculus".
Working since 2009, scholars Guilio Magli and Robert Hannah discovered that at midday on the equinoxes, a shaft of circular light shines through the oculus and illuminates the Pantheon's entrance.