THE ECU Sundial

Photograph of the ECU Sundial

What is It?
A sundial is a device that casts one or two shadow lines over a surface marked to show the time of day. Such instruments only work during daylight hours when it is not too cloudy and the device is properly aligned to true north.

Where is It?
The ECU sundial is mounted near the southeast corner of the Hallie Brown Ford Performing Arts Center. The red dot on this map indicates its location next to the Arts Center

How do you read it?
1) Look on the sundial and find the point where the two shadow lines intersect.
2) Read the hour of the day by following the nearest analemma symbol (it looks like a figure eight) in a parallel fashion. Follow parallel to the left half of the analemma symbol if the date is between December 21 and April 18 or between June 21 and August 20. Otherwise follow parallel to the right half of the nearest analemma symbol.
3) If it is Daylight Savings Time, which begins on the second Sunday in March and ends the day before the first Sunday in November, read the hour value shown immediately below the bottom horizontal line. If it is Standard Time, read the hour value shown immediately above the top horizontal line.
4) Time to the nearest minute can be estimated using the dots along the nearest horizontal line. The dots are sequenced horizontally in ten-minute intervals.

Example:
1) Using the following sundial example, the two shadow lines are shown in red. Notice the point where they intersect.
2) As can be estimated by the analemmas (as well as the horizontal lines), there are only two days of the year where this particular intersection occurs: February 21 or October 23. If it is the latter, then follow in a parallel fashion the right-side of the analemma.
3) Since Daylight Time is in effect, it is followed downward. You should determine it is between 3 and 4 PM.
4) Since its location is two dots to the left of the "4" and each dot represents 10 minutes, it is 3:40 PM.

In the same example, if it happens to be February, follow in parallel fashion the left-side of the analemma. For this particular day it is Standard Time, so it is followed upward. You should find it is between 3 and 4 PM. Since its location is one dot to the right of the "3", it is 3:10 PM.