What's New Under The Sun

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 North American Sundial Society will hold its 27th annual conference in Nashville from Aug 11-14, 2022. Come to the Home of the Grand Ole Opry.  Our hotel is next to Vanderbilt University and close to downtown, with the Country Music Hall of Fame, National Museum of African American Music, and Frist Art Museum.  Don't forget lower Broadway, the center of Nashville's most famous...

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...

Sunday, 12 December 2021 01:17

John Krieger, a former science teacher, is a strong supporter of STEM in the classroom and science in the real world. Bollards at Laguna Nigel in southern California might offer the opportunity to teach a bit of astronomy.  John says, "I don’t mean to imply that every concrete curb stop should be turned into an astronomical instrument. But why can’t we have more of these things around...

Saturday, 04 December 2021 17:52

Frans Maes of the Netherland Sundial Society writes: "We deeply regret to inform you that Hans de Rijk, founding member in 1978 and honorary member of the Netherlands' Sundial Society, passed away on November 23, at the age of 95. He served in the Board of the Society for many years and wrote some 150 articles in its Bulletin. Among these were important contributions, such as a latitude...

Tuesday, 28 September 2021 21:55

Sundials have always been part of gardens, as witnessed by Alice Morse Earle's book Sun Dials and Roses of Yesterday written 120 years ago. Her book title expanded on the cover with the subtitile "Garden Delights Which are Here Displayed in Very Truth and are Moreover Regarded as Emblems." Thomas Christopher, a volunteer at the Berkshire Botanical Garden is author of a number of books on...

Friday, 17 September 2021 17:09

Seattle, WA wants to call itself the sundial capital of the world, but it runs a pale second to Birkenau, Germany. This small village in the south of Germany with about 10,000 inhabitants holds the record as the village with the highest density of sundials in the world. (https://www.sonnenuhren-birkenau.de/service-269/news/news-details/world-record-for-the-village-of-sundials.html). You can find...

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.