Capricorn: Dec.22-Jan.29 The Sundial Primer
created by Carl Sabanski
Capricorn: Dec.22-Jan.29

The Sundial Primer Index

North vs South

Hemisphere (northern and southern): one half of the Earth's globe, either north or south of the equator. Note that a sundial at a particular latitude in one hemisphere must be reversed for use at the reciprocal latitude in the other hemisphere.


The following figures illustrate identical sundials designed for 50 North and 50 South latitude. One is a mirror image of the other. Also note, by their colour,  that the declination lines are reversed. The gnomon is orientated with the either the north or south celestial pole.

A vertical direct south sundial in the Northern hemisphere becomes a vertical direct north sundial in the Southern hemisphere.  And when it is summer in one hemisphere it is winter in the other.

To position your horizontal sundial correctly, you need to find true north or south.  You can use the techniques described on the page "Finding True North".

Figure 1: Horizontal Sundial Northern Hemisphere Figure 2: Horizontal Sundial Southern Hemisphere
Figure 1: Horizontal Sundial
Northern Hemisphere
(Shadows)
Figure 2: Horizontal Sundial
Southern Hemisphere
(Shadows)

Figure 3: Vertical Direct South Sundial Northern Hemisphere Figure 4: Vertical Direct North Sundial Southern Hemisphere
Figure 3: Vertical Direct South Sundial
Northern Hemisphere
(Shadows)
Figure 4: Vertical Direct North Sundial
Southern Hemisphere
(Shadows)

Figure 5: Vertical Direct East Sundial Northern Hemisphere Figure 6: Vertical Direct East Sundial Southern Hemisphere
Figure 5: Vertical Direct East Sundial
Northern Hemisphere
(Shadows)
Figure 6: Vertical Direct East Sundial
Southern Hemisphere
(Shadows)

Figure 7: Polar Sundial Northern Hemisphere Figure 8: Polar Sundial Southern Hemisphere
Figure 7: Polar Sundial
Northern Hemisphere
(Shadows)
Figure 8: Polar Sundial
Southern Hemisphere
(Shadows)