COMPARISON OF METHODS

AZIMUTH

Pros

1. Does not require a determination of time of day or of true south. (Location on horizon and exact time of occurrence is obvious if observations started a few minutes in advance.)

2. Can be done with dark glasses or naked eye if done quickly on distant horizon, due to atmospheric bending of light.

Cons

1. Best done with long distance view of sun on horizon, with slanted objects on distant horizon that can be used as markers.

2. Sun rise observations are more apt to be interrupted by clouds.

3. Sun rise requires approximate knowledge of both time and location on horizon in order to not miss it.


ELEVATION

Pros

1. Longer time available to make measurements than azimuth with vertical markers.

2. Mid-day less likely to have view obstructed by clouds, fog.

2. Mid-day may be more convenient.

Cons

1. Requires light filters, or dull reflectors, if accuracy is desired.

2. Simple shadow methods are less accurate. Require plotting and back calculating to obtain accuracy.

3. While exact time and direction of south are not required, an approximation of these is required to increase accuracy.


SOLSTICE VS EQUINOX

EQUINOX

Pros

1. Easier to provide accuracy due to more rapid change in both azimuth and elevation.

2. As a result, more likely to use a simple shadow method.

2. Less likely to have cloud/fog problems than winter solstice.

CONS

1. May have less interest, since the sun is not just now starting to "Return".

2. Must remember that the two "halves" of the year are not equally long.