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A Sundial cast in stone

9 Dec 2009, 23:23 UTC
A Sundial cast in stone
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The stone sundial.
Today I was all day long in a Time Management training course, organized by ESO. You might wonder why on earth an astronomer should take a course in time management… but actually, more and more (especially in big organizations as ESO is) astronomers (as they come of age) get also some managerial responsibilities. This is very much the case when they act as project scientists and have to interact with engineers, who are used to proceed in a very structured way (as opposed to scientists, who [often] know where they are but not where they are heading to). One of the most important aspects is how you manage time. And thinking about this it occurred to me that last August, during my summer vacations in Northern Italy, I had done something about time management. Not the way the trainer has told us today, though.
My father at work.
In fact, starting in the early ‘90, I have designed and constructed a number of sundials (actually, as an exercise of spherical trigonometry, I had also derived the equations that govern the drawings of a solar clock). My father Giovanni happens to be a professional sculptor, and has spent ...

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