Sundial: 981
State/Province:  New Mexico Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Obelisk or Vertical Gnomon Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 34° 04.444' N  107° 37.365' W
  • From Socorro NM, drive west on Hwy 60 past Magdalena. Turn left on Route 52 to the Very Large Array (VLA) of the National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO). Dial is near the visitor center.
  • This vertical gnomon sundial sitting on a 46-by-35-foot concrete slab was constructed using concrete piers of a solar mapping radio telescope array that Robert Bracewell originally built near the Stanford University campus. The array was abandon in the 1980's. The 10 piers were moved to the VLA in 2013 and arranged as a vertical gnomonic dial. NASA: "As for most sundials the shadow cast by the central gnomon follows markers that show the solar time of day, along with solstices and equinoxes. But markers on the [Bracewell] radio sundial are also laid out according to local sidereal time. They show the position of the invisible radio shadows of three bright radio sources in Earth's sky, supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, active galaxy Cygnus A, and active galaxy Centaurus A."
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: National Radio Astronomical Observatory
  • "I measure the hours by our nearby star,
    While the dishes around you look light-years afar."
    "A complex array transforms radio skies;
    A creeping shadow shows us time flies."
  • Designer: Dr. Woody Sullivan, Univ of Washington
  • Builder: NRAO Project Lead Dr. Miller Goss, Site Engineer Guy Stanzion, Judy Stanley Site Coordinator
  • Construction Date: October 5, 2013
References: Web Links:
  • On each pier are graffiti and signatures of many of the first radio astronomers who visited Bracewell's radio telescope

Attachments Available:

Last Revised: 2019-08-157 14:30