created by Carl Sabanski
Virtual Sundials: Simon Wheaton-Smith
Simon is the first contributor to the virtual sundials section of "Sunny Day U". Thank you Simon!
Simon has his own excellent dialling site called "Illustrating Shadows". He has a great deal of information available at his site and there are numerous files that you can download. They provide a wealth of dialling information and all you have to do is go get them. Take the time to visit "Illustrating Shadows".
Among the various file types available at Simon's site there are some VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) files. These files require a VRML browser that you can get for free. What you will see are a series of 3D sundial images that Simon has created. The VRML browser works within your internet browser and allows you to manipulate the images. You can zoom, rotate and perform other functions on the 3D images. You can see the image from virtually any angle. It's a lot of fun!
This first image is of "Mr.
Gnome" and a wine goblet. "Mr. Gnome" is a character
featured in a dialling book Simon has written. For more information please
visit his web site.
Simon says that you should view this image about 18 inches from the screen and let your eyes relax until you see 3 images. The one in the centre will be in 3D. Give it a try.
second image is the "Dog's Collar Sundial". It is the model for
an actual dog's collar that Simon made. Can you see it in 3D?
Each fin or gnomon is rotated by 15°. The height of each gnomon is such that when the sun is 15° off a particular gnomon its shadow is at the base of an adjacent gnomon. On a full hour one gnomon will be casting no shadow and all other shadows will be solid, fin to fin. For intermediate times the shadow is between gnomons.
This next virtual image is of a "gnomonless" equatorial sundial. And then you can see the actual sundial in
use. Simon has a booklet about this sundial on his web site. Check it
The following image is of the Jaipur Observatory located in India. This is one of several 3-dimensional worlds Simon has created. You can actually walk around and look at the sundials. You just have to check it out!