Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mars Landers Create Opportunity For Web-linked Sundials Around The World

Date:
November 21, 2003
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
Herbert Hoover reputedly wanted a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot. Woodruff Sullivan would settle for a sundial in every backyard.

Herbert Hoover reputedly wanted a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot. Woodruff Sullivan would settle for a sundial in every backyard.

Related Articles


Sullivan, a University of Washington astronomy professor, is teaming up with television personality Bill Nye, "the science guy," and The Planetary Society on EarthDial, a project to get schools, community organizations and individuals around the world to build their own sundials and display them on the Internet using 24-hour webcams.

Their hope is to have a broad sample of sundials from each time zone, illustrating the difference in shadows between the northern and southern hemispheres and the equator. The plan is to display the images together on a single Web site during the working life of two Mars landers, Spirit and Opportunity, that are scheduled to land on the red planet in January.

Both Spirit and Opportunity are equipped with sundials, referred to as Marsdials, that were largely designed and fabricated at the UW. They evolved from earlier Mars missions that were to land on Mars in 2002 but were postponed. In examining the plans for those missions, Nye noticed a small square and post that were to be used as a kind of test pattern to calibrate the spacecraft's color panoramic camera. He suggested that it could double as a sundial.

Now he and Sullivan, a sundial expert, have devised what they call the EarthDial project in which they are providing sundial construction plans that are adaptable for any place on Earth. Though each EarthDial will have room outside the main circle for individual touches and expressions of local culture, everything within that circle is expected to be relatively uniform so that they will be similar to each other and representative of the Marsdials.

"We'll have all the dials around the Earth and the two dials on Mars with the same general design," Sullivan said. "And they will have the same motto – 'Two Worlds, One Sun.'"

A big difference is that the motto, inscribed in English on the Marsdials, will be in the local language of each EarthDial built for the project. In addition, the Marsdials carry an inscription of "Mars 2004," while the EarthDials will be inscribed "Earth 2004," also in the local language.

The cost to individuals, schools and groups undertaking an EarthDial project is likely to be around $50 for building materials, plus the cost of acquiring and maintaining a webcam with around-the-clock Internet connection that refreshes the image regularly.

The EarthDials will be about 32 inches across, 10 times the size of the Marsdials. At any time, half of the EarthDials will be in darkness, Sullivan said, but displayed together on a Web page they will provide a unique look at the world.

"You'll get a palpable sense of what time is on this globe," he said. "As your eye sweeps across the screen, you'll see the shadow angles changing just like the hands on a clock in different time zones."

The project is being conducted in partnership with The Planetary Society, an organization that encourages exploration of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life. The society will host the EarthDial Web site throughout the Spirit and Opportunity missions on the Martian surface. Sullivan expects the project will prove to be a valuable education tool.

"Any teacher should be able to use this site for all kinds of interesting things having to do with timekeeping and with Earth as a planet," he said.

###

Those who want to build their own EarthDials can find further information and construction plans at http://www.planetary.org/mars/earthdial.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Mars Landers Create Opportunity For Web-linked Sundials Around The World." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031121071707.htm>.
University Of Washington. (2003, November 21). Mars Landers Create Opportunity For Web-linked Sundials Around The World. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031121071707.htm
University Of Washington. "Mars Landers Create Opportunity For Web-linked Sundials Around The World." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031121071707.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) Lunar Mission One is offering to send your digital memory (or even your DNA) to the moon to be stored for a billion years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) Serious accidents with two US commercial spacecraft within a week of each-other in October have re-ignited the debate over the place of private corporations in the exploration of space. Duration: 02:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lunar Mission One Could Send Your Hair to The Moon

Lunar Mission One Could Send Your Hair to The Moon

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A British-led venture called Lunar Mission One plans to send a module to the moon with keepsakes from Earth. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) tells you how to get your photos and DNA onboard. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins