Apian Card Dial
is a portable sundial for all latitudes, developed by
Peter Apian (Petrus Apianus, 1495-1552). It also
indicates the time of sunrise and sunset.
It is equipped with a simple Sun sight on the upper edge. A thread with a sliding bead is hanging from the point of suspension (at the end of a brachiolus) which is adjustable in two dimensions (declination, latitude).
into text field and hit "Apply input".
(Gregorian Calendar only, later than 1582)
(decimal degrees) into the text field and hit "Apply
The latitude is indicated in the text field.
interactive regions (light gray scales) are changing
the cursor to cross hair.
|Click into the
degree scale (light gray) on the lower and left limb to
direct the quadrant to the Sun. The thread will follow
the elevation angle.
|Use the "Today"
button to set the thread to the current date. The bead
is set to the current Sun's declination.
|- Click into
the light gray date and latitude scale
to set the thread.
- To bead is set to the latitude automatically (scale at right, continuing the declination scale).
"Fix Lat." is an option to keep the latitude when
clicking into the date/latitude scale.
the date, the declination, and the time of sunrise and
sunset (neglecting refraction on the horizon), the
equation of time, the current time, and elevation as
computed by astronomical algorithms.
from the "Display Options" menu.
red frame of the applet area is a square (753 x 753
pix, same size as for Gunter's quadrant).
|The dial is
obeying the equation of the nautic spherical triangle
(h = elevation angle,
φ = latitude, AH =
sin h = sin φ sin δ + cos φ cos δ cos AHA very short proof can be found in the book of Rohr.
The formula is symmetric with respect to φ and δ, thus the dials of Regiomontanus and Apian are equivalent.
René R. J.: Die
Sonnenuhr. Geschichte, Theorie, Funktion.
Callwey, München 1982.
Meyer, Jörg: Die Sonnenuhr und ihre Theorie.
Harry Deutsch, Frankfurt 2008.
2009-2018 J. Giesen