Make a sundial in your yard using a pole and yard decorations

8:10 AM, Jun 26, 2013   |    comments
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Triad --  Have you ever been fascinated by Stonehenge or the sundials the ancients used to tell time? You can actually make your own sundial right in your back yard.

First of all gather up as many outdoor lawn ornaments as you can find. You'll probably want at least 12 or 13. (The days are really long this time of year!) You might need to ask the neighbors if you can borrow some of theirs. It could end up being a good neighborhood project or a way to get to know the families around you. Here's an example of what the sundial should look like from

You'll also need a pole to put in the middle. That's called the gnomon. This can be as simple as a rake or broom handle. The tricky part is finding a way to make it stand up. That is what will cast our shadow and tell us what time it is.

The sunrise these days is a few minutes after 6:00 am. Since you won't be able to get a 6:00 shadow, you may as well hold off until 7:00 am to begin. On each hour, all you have to do is go outside and see where the shadow falls. Mark that with one of your yard ornaments. Do the same thing each hour until the sun goes down.

The sun's angle changes every single day. That means your sundial won't be permanent. You'll have to re-do it occasionally. If you want to make a more permanent one, you'll probably want to do a little more research. You'll want to use a gnomon angled to the north to account for the tilt of the earth. That will allow for a more permanent sundial. Today's project is mainly just for fun and to keep the kids busy for the day.

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