The Challenge: Build accurate clocks
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We could build a horizontal
sundial on a flat, level base plate and make sure that the shadow stick
is angled so that it is parallel to the earth's north-south axis. However,
marking the points where the shadow will fall at each hour is not as simple
as it might seem. These points change depending on latitude.
a high northerly latitude the marks would look like this:
closer to the equator, they would look like this:
As a result, there
are two significant drawbacks:
calculations are required to work out the hour mark positions - easy to
do with a calculator but very tricky without.
2. Even if the hour marks could be calculated the gaps between
them would be unequal, making measurement of periods shorter than an hour
Solving the latitude problem