Picture of 2d Nocturnal Celestial Stardial TJT1/6
Despite centuries of improvements in Sundial design, they are not reliable time-tellers at night. Nocturnal beasts such as wombats, skunks and Angelina Jolie would despair were it not for... duh-duh-duh-duh-dummm...

The Nocturnal Celestial Stardial! This long-forgotten instrument aided a few lucky navigators and charmed romantics of the Renaissance. Earliest references include Cosmographicus Liber in 1530, Arte de Navegar, in 1551, and Horologiographia, The Art Of Dialling in 1626. 'Twas rare then as now.  The Nocturnal Celestial Stardial is also called a stardial, a nocturnal, a "horologium nocturnum" (time instrument for night), or nocturlabe.

Time-Journey Tool 1 of 6, it needn't even be configured to longitude and latitude like a sundial.

Recommended Materials:

 an Eyelet or Rivet (Eyelet kits may be purchased in craft or fabric stores, even Sears. Paper fasteners will not work because a hole is needed at the center of the instrument for sighting the North Star.

 Printer with Paper or Cardstock

 Scissors or X-Acto knife

 Hammer and eyelet kit or dowel rod
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Step 1: Choose Color Scheme

Picture of Choose Color Scheme
paper stardial kit green--sm.jpg
paper stardial kit gray--sm.jpg
paper stardial kit blue--sm.jpg
Choose a PDF to print. I've provided four color schemes from which to choose. Print it.

The outer disc is marked with the months as well as an indicator for each of the 365 days of the year. The inner disc is marked with hours and 5-minute increments. The pointer rotates on the same center axis as the discs. The center axis has a sight hole through which the North Star Polaris can be aligned.

In the northern hemisphere, all stars will appear to rotate about the North Star, aka Polaris. The North Star is very close to the north celestial pole, but about 434 light years away.

The time can be read on my Nocturnal Stardial from any of three reference constellations: Big Dipper (Ursa Major), the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor), or Cassiopeia.
poofrabbit2 years ago
I've never heard of such a thing, this is very cool thanks for sharing!
TimeJourneyTools (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
yeah poofrabbit, when I first heard of them I knew I needed one too. That's why I had to make it! It's amazing that it really works.

It's funny that even if you know the stars rise and fall each night you never think you can put them to such good use.
You are so right! I think that as we gain technology we forget how much stays constant in our world and how simple tools can still be used and be completely effective.