Of the 101 things that play in Peoria, the Pekin Illinois Sundial in Mineral Springs Park is rated #59, and billed as the World's greatest sundial in Pekin, Illinois. Even Google Maps marks the Pekin Sundial. The Pekin Park District says: "picturesquely located in the Sunken Gardens in Mineral Springs Park, this unique sundial tells the hours before or after noon and the highest point of the sun on a given day. More interesting information is available on the earth, sun, planets and latitude and longitude at the site."
The Peroria Journal Star interviewed Hentry Cakora, now 79, who built the dial using his family business, Tazewell Machine Parts and convinced the Pekin Park District to provide land for its construction in the Sunken Gardens of Mineral Springs Park. It's easy to spot on Google Maps just south of Court Street near the park's Lagoon that from spring through fall offers a pedalboat rides.
Cakora who knew about the sun's motion and was good at mathematics created a complex set of sundials. The main sundial is a horizontal dial about 6 feet tall of burnished steel, surrounded by hour marks on the ground. But if you're there near noontime there are extra treats. At the base of the sundial is a thin upright triangle split down the middle allowing it to cast a narrow beam of light toward the noon mark. Then there is a pole just north of the dial with two flat nodi about 12 inches in diameter, each having a hole in the center. The lower nodus casts a shadow that each hour falls on an analemma that allows correction for the sun's irregular "Equation of Time". Charts explain this to the observer as well. The upper nodus casts its shadow on a noon mark analemma, with small stakes to indicate the soltices and equinox.
Nearby is a planet. Is it part of a planet trail that starts from the Park's nearby fountain? Or is there another astronomical explanation? In any event, if the Pekin dial isn't one of the World's greatest, Cakora declares “I’m sure, by far, it’s the most accurate."
Read about it in the Peoria Journal Star: http://101.pjstar.com/59-worlds-greatest-sundial/ and see at: http://www.pekinparkdistrict.org/sundial.html
I would like to send you the direct link to more details on this competition, as I believe it may be of interest for some members of the NASS (I saw the Art and Literature section in the "Teachers Corner"). The deadline for submitting entries is coming soon - 31 March:
“Words and Light” is a tribute to all the writers who were inspired by Light, writers who were interested in the Science of Light, and scientists who were also poets. The Competition is dedicated to Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, celebrating the publication of the grammar book by Lomonosov written in 1755 which reformed the Russian literary language by combining Old Church Slavonic with the vernacular (160th anniversary in 2015), and to the book "Theory of Colours" (Zur Farbenlehre) by Goethe, published in 1810, which contains detailed descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration (205th anniversary in 2015).
Dr. Ana Luisa Simoes Gamboa
Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Ecology
ITMO University (Saint Petersburg National Research
University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics)
Saint Petersburg, Russia
+7 911 716 37 22
SOLART2 by artist MA2F
UNESCO has declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL-2015). For sundialists, the inauguration of SOLART2 on the June 2015 solstice may be the highlight. SOLART2 is the largest IYL-2015 artistic sundial project in Europe. It is located in Rivesaltes at the northern entrance of Perpignan, France. It was initiated in 2013 as a strong symbol of sustainable development. Artist MA2F (Marc-Andre 2 Figuères) is constructing the sundial with an incredibly large gnomon created from a double metal bar with numbers silouhettes cut into the structure. The dial is meant to illustrate the flow of matter and energy, projecting a continually changing shadow of numbers onto the dial face during the progression of solar time. The edges of the gnomon are painted red "as a visual value and mastery of light". You can see a video of the dial at: http://ma2f.com/pages/solart2.php
Professor Woody Sullivan's Reflection Dial
[photo - NASS Conference 2011]
Professor Woody Sullivan of the University of Washington in Seattle, whose long time motto has been "Seattle, sundial capital of North America", received a tribute from local television station King5 for sundials that he has designed or brought to light around Seattle. His pride and joy is his ceiling reflection dial [photo at left] As related by Joan Kinsey from King5 news, "It took Sullivan and an artist three years to chart hundreds of reflected dots across the top of Sullivan's remodeled garage..." The celestial view includes hour lines, solar declination lines of the equinox and the soltices, and a variety of transit dots that represent special dates and times to the Sullivan family.
Sullivan, a professional astronomer, has helped design a number of Seattle dials. As Joan Kinsey notes, "His first one [a declining vertical dial] went up in 1994 on the side of the astronomy building at the university ...The huge wall sundial ignited Sullivan's passion to make more and research the ones that already exist in town." Woody has created a Sundial Trail of prominent Seattle dials ranging from several vertical dials increasing the educational value at local schools to a large Shepard's dial and an occulus gnomonic dial.
Of course being Seattle, Woody scribed an appropriate sundial motto, "I thrive in the sun, Can't work in the rain. So, if I'm beclouded, please come back again. "
Read about it at: king5 news
Founding Fathers - Washington Dial at Mt. Vernon, VA
In August, 2014, the North American Sundial Society had a terrific conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, discussing sundial topics from the sundials of Our Founding Fathers where Fred Sawyer talked about the sundials and stories of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.
Greek Dial from Ai Khanum
Another highlight was Jack Aubert's talk on the mysteries of an ancient Greek sundial found at Ai Khanum in the northern of Afghanistan and computing the hour lines. Who built this dial more than 2000 years ago and what kind of mathematics did they use?
Peggy Gunnerson described the evolution of a modern sundial parallelpipeds sculpture, creating an artistic and unusal east-west sundial. And Stephen Lueking presented a series of modern sundial designs for DePaul University. These were just some of the presentations. Subscribe to the digital edition of The Compendium from NASS and receive them all. The annual Sawyer Dialing Prize went to Robert Kellogg for NASS outreach and the invention of a digital sundial. Read more about the presentations and the tour of Indianapolis by downloading the attachment below.
Peggy Gunnerson Parallelpiped Dial
Stephen Luecking - Dial Design for DePaul University
Hosting 46 people, the conference was coordinated by George and Betsy Wilson and Mark an Phyllis Montgomery. During the Friday Sundial tour NASS was welcomed by Eagle Elementary School, the senior high ability class and their teachers. All gathered in the school's courtyard to show a large horizontal sundial, dedicated as a memorial to a former teacher, Linda Eads.
Kānaloa Stone Shadow Alignment
Photo: Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission
On Kaho'olawe, the smallest island of the Hawaiian island chain only 7 miles from Maui, sits an endangered and sacred rock, the Kānaloa, with petroglyphs and a row of 32 cupules (man-made depressions) along one edge. “It has significant celestial alignments with the rising and setting of the sun,” said Michael Naho'opi'i, Executive Director of the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC). It appears that there is a relationship between the shadow of a stick held vertically along lines etched in the stone and the cupules.
Documented as Site 110 feature BU, the Kānaloa stone is relatively flat and rests on a natural pedestal that when tapped, resonates with a bell-like ring. But its petroglyphs and alignment cups may soon topple into a nearby and ever growing ravine. In 2010 the Commission approved "The Cultural Use Plan: Kūkulu Ke Ea A Kānaloa" with one of the recommendations to preserve and stabilize the stone. The first phase of the plan has been to document the stone's celestial alignments and quantify the erosion forces acting on its base.
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.