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Tricolor Nocturnal $37.50

Tell time by the stars!

Sundials are fine during daylight, but what about night? Here is an accurate, low-tech (and may we add very green) way to tell time by the stars.

Carefully hand-crafted, the Tricolor Nocturnal has a copper-colored base with pewter center and a bronze-colored arm. It comes on a 30 inch (¾ m) black silk cord.

The Nocturnal or horologium nocturnum was first used in the 15th century by navigators who needed to tell time by the position of the stars. This particular star dial uses the North Star (Polaris) and the Big Dipper to determine the hour.

Click to enlarge.

Read our tutorial on telling time with a horologium nocturnum to see how to use the Nocturnal. This is written in two parts: part I is a worked example, part II is interactive.

The Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy has a very nice introduction to Nocturnal science in English (in Italian).

Written instructions are included.

Dimensions: 1.13 inches (2.8 cm) in diameter.

Directions for use of the nocturnal.

Made in Canada.

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