Monograph for Sun Position

While I recommend Parrish's "Sun Path" computer program highly, I don't like his graph that is generated with every daily report. The scales change at different times of the year and the path changes shape. This is a minor complaint and does not reduce the value of this well designed program.

A sun position computer program is needed for this exercise. A great way to learn sun position determination is to make monographs of the sun through the day at different times of the year. My version looks at the sky as if it were a curved wall surrounding the viewer with north at your back. East is 90 degrees on your left, south 180 degrees straight ahead and west 270 degrees on your right. Height of the sun is from 0 degrees at the horizon to 90 degrees straight overhead. The angle that the sun rises and sets to the horizon is accurate for the first few hours. The paper graph is not curved in the vertical direction like a hemisphere, but you can imagine that it is.

Download "Monograph Numbers" or create one from "Make a Sun Position Monograph" if it doesn't download well. Print out or copy a lot of these. Then print out sun positions from your computer program for different times of the year and plot them on the graph.

Print out a "true north" Sun Path reports for December 23, mid winter when the sun is as "far south" as it will be during the year. Place a dot for every hour at the right height /altitude and compass angle /azimuth for the sun's position for the whole day. Join these dots and write the time of each hour closely above each dot. See sample.

Repeat this for March 21 (or Sept.23), June 23, April 22 ( or Aug 22), and Feb. 18 (or Oct 25) Note correction for Daylight Savings Time.

Now you have a graph of the sun's position for 5 major differences during the year.

Monograph of Sun's Position for Hollywood

This is your "No Instrument Sun Locator". Find true south and this graph will accurately place the sun in the sky with no instruments if you have learned the previous skills.

Stand facing true south. This graph is a representation of the sky in front of you. The sun rises somewhere in the East to your left, reaches a maximum height in the South at sun noon and sets on your right somewhere in the West. (See General Sun Information and No Instrument Sun Locating)

© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.