The sun dial worked during daylight, but how did people agree on what time it was at night before clocks were invented?

  • @Buddahriffic
    link
    54 months ago

    More accurate than moon position would be the position of the stars. Throughout the year, the stars around the Earth remain the same but as the Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun appears to be “in” different constellations as the Earth rotates, but it rotates at the same rate during the night as during the day. Each star rises and sets just like the Sun does, so by knowing which stars rose just as the Sun set, you can figure out the approximate time (approximate because it changes through the year).

    Alternatively, the North Star and the stars around it appear to rotate once per day, so you could check the orientation of those stars to determine time, again by noting which part points towards the Sun.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      44 months ago

      The main interest of the moon position is that it’s a bright object, everybody knows. No need any specific knowledge. Now that while you had this conversion the moon moved a lot, so expect that so many hour have passed. It’s rough but sufficient