Welcome to Gemini’s 12 Days of Solstice! This is a joyous countdown to the longest, or shortest (depending on which hemisphere you live in) day of the year. Visit our blog each day from December 10 – December 21 for Gemini-themed crafts, cartoons, playlists, videos and much, much more.
Day 9: Sundial Time
Here’s a great way to celebrate the most valuable player of any solstice event – your very own sundial! Download Sky and Telescope’s Southern or Northern hemisphere template and follow the simple steps below.
Supplies: Northern or Southern Hemisphere template, paper, scissors, pencil or straw to act as a gnomon (noh-mahn), your latitude on planet Earth.
- Cut along the dotted lines from the outside of the paper.
- Make a crease along the solid horizontal line with the line on the outside.
- Make a crease along the solid vertical lines with the line on the outside.
- Pick the line with the closest latitude to yours and fold with the line on the inside.
- Tape the triangles created by your latitude fold flush to the back of the rectangular portion of the paper, ensuring that the latitude fold line is perpendicular to the cut edge of the rectangle.
- Poke the pencil or straw through the hole at the top of the dial, this becomes a gnomon. The gnomon is what casts a shadow onto the sundial surface telling the time. For accuracy, ensure that the gnomon is perpendicular to the sundial surface.
- Place your creation outside with the gnomon pointing south (in the southern hemisphere) or north (northern hemisphere) and tell the local solar time with your new creation.
Extra Credit: Decorate your sundial! Ideas include glitter, stickers, sunglasses, stars and/or magnetic field lines!
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Gemini’s 12 Days of Solstice countdown!