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Hermann Park with a friend

December 21st, 2012 by Joyce

As it was the day of the solstice, we waited for the sun to shine through the ball at the top of the gnomon.  Of course it was cloudy right at noon, but we waited around a bit and the clouds cleared enough to see the beam shining through.  Wikipedia says had we a white card, we might have been able to see sunspots—we’ll have to try again in six months! David thought it was all somewhat interesting, but the girls were not impressed.

From Wikipedia’s article on the HMNS:

Cockrell Sundial, which opened in 1989, is one of the world’s largest. It includes lenses on a special chrome ball on top of the gnomon so that at solar noon on the equinoxes and solstices, sunlight shines though and casts an image of the Sun. Large sunspots can be seen by holding a white card in the beam and moving until it is focus.

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The camera wasn’t great and so most of the pix are blurry, but you can see that the pigeons loved the bird seed, and the kids loved seeing the birds so eager. We distributed about five cups’ worth in front of the train station. Sometimes the pigeons would get startled and all take flight at once, turning in a sharp circle before the fountain and then coming back down for more bird seed.

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