Introduction: Finding North Using Shaddows
So you need to find North, but you don't have a GPS, a compass or a watch (or any way to tell the time)
You Will Need:
1 Rotating Planet
Step 1: Placing the Stick
Firstly, find an area as flat and level as possible.
Insert your stick into the ground.
The area around the stick needs to be clear of any objects.
Step 2: Placing the First Mark
You now need to mark the position of the shadow. You can do this by placing a stone on the ground at the very tip of the shadow, this will be your first reference point.
Step 3: The Wait
This step is easy, just wait for the earth to rotate a bit! After 5-10 minutes you will notice the shadow has moved off your stone, this is fine, it just means the Earth is still rotating. I have marked the shadow position with another stone. This is not necessary, I did it to show the shadow movement. It is better to wail a bit longer to mark your second reference point.
Step 4: Placing the Second Reference Point
After 30-45 minutes you can mark your second reference point. Again place a stone at the very tip of the shadow.
Step 5: North, East, South, West
Now imagine or draw a straight line passing through both the first and second reference points. This gives you an east-west line. Your first reference point will be west and your second will be east.
This is because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so in the morning the sun will be in the eastern part of the sky and shadows will be cast in a westerly direction. As the Earth rotates and the sun 'moves' across the sky in a westerly arc the shadow moves in an easterly direction.
If you stand with your left foot on the first reference point and your right foot on the second reference point, and look straight ahead you will be facing North.
Step 6: ** TIP **
If you are trying this on grass it might be difficult to pin point the very tip of the shadow. To solve this flatten the grass (vegetation) as much as you can (without damaging it), place you hand on the ground and move it around until the shadow falls onto your fingers. Now place the stone/marker onto the ground through your fingers.
I Hope this was helpful.
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