Cool Way to Tell How Much Light Time Is Left in the Day

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A cool way to figure how many daylight hours are left in the day by useing your hands.

**WARNING**
You need to be able to see the sun!

Step 1: Materials

For this, you need to have more than one hand. You can use one but it is more difficult.

Step 2: Step One

Extend your arm fully so that your first hand is covering the sun. (so you do not lose eyesight) You do not count the hand covering the sun.
I did not make a hand to cover the sun so that you could see where it is.

Step 3: Next Step

Do the same as in step one with your other hand, but place under first hand.
The blocks represent hands.

Step 4: Step Three

Keep going while counting until you reach the horizon.
So in this picture, the blocks represent hands. There are about 4 hours of daylight left.

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    17 Discussions

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    DEEJAY642

    2 years ago

    great!!!!!!! I cant wait to try it out!!!!! what happens if the sun is directly above you???

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    bmaverickNachoMahma

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Exactly. This was first mentioned in Ben Franklin's Almanac back in the early part of American History. Not sure where he got that info. It works well after 3pm.

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    PKMNachoMahma

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Doesn't it depend on the time of year and how vertically the sun is setting? I know the rule that the sun moves 1/4 of a degree per minute, and count one knuckle as two degrees so it should move the width of your fist along its path in 32 minutes, but you need to be able to judge what angle the ecliptic makes with the horizon to get it accurate. I guess counting one hand as an hour applies a fudge factor of 2, which sounds like you need to be quite far north for it to work- at the equator it would be more like hanf an hour per hand.

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    andi456PKM

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    True. I live in Washington state and this works well. (when the sun is out)

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    NachoMahmaPKM

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    . I don't know about your figures, but I've been using 15 min per finger since my Grandfather taught me over 40 years ago. Works well here in The South (US).

    every three minutes the sun moves the size of itself .I use this rule of thumb to race down to the beach if its going to be a nice sunset

    The picture is enttled midnight sun. That means: The sun is not going to go down that day! It has reached the deepest point! No trick with finger hand or whatever will work. It is in the north of Europe but will be the same in Alaska ode Canada! All tricks depend on you geogaphic position i.e. distance to northpole (slower) or aquator(faster) move of sun!!

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    ycc2106

    9 years ago on Step 4

    How long have you tried it? For notice things are very different on different latitudes and seasons... read: read this.

    2 replies
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    NachoMahmaycc2106

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    . It's not supposed to be all that accurate - ppl have different sized hands, fingers, and arms - but I've used it and it's usually good to within +/- 10 minutes. Good enough for the girls I go out with. Probably wouldn't take much practice to cut that in half.

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    PKMNachoMahma

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    But is it accurate enough for Rachel and Larry King in that episode of curb your enthusiasm?

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    ycc2106

    9 years ago on Introduction

    OK, it something like: Check out the sunset time minus current time. Divide the lengths and try to find a way to measure it.

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    tankguy

    9 years ago on Introduction

    So do you count the first hand that's covering the sun?