Phillip’s Day In The Sun

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Phillip Richards at the sundial.

A former maths teacher has used his trigonometry skills to design a unique sundial that now sits in Teatree Park, Yandina.

YADCA member Phillip Richards has designed a sundial that requires a person to stand at a marked point to cast the shadow that indicates the time by the sun. Called an analemmatic dial, it was invented by a French mathematician in the 1640s.

The eight metre wide installation is a stone ellipse curving east to west with numbers marking the hours from 6am to 6pm. “It is a family friendly installation and children are able to understand the rotation of the Earth, and summer and winter, and the change in the direction of shadows through the day,” Phillip said. He believes it is the only one of its kind in Queensland. The Sunshine Coast Daily recently reported on the unique sundial.

Although the design was just a question of trigonometry, it was painstaking work. “It took quite a long time because I had to double and triple check to ensure I was right, and then I had to adjust for Eastern Standard Time. But really, knowing where the angles would go came fairly quickly.”

Teatree Park is located adjacent to the Yandina Historic House at the roundabout where Coulson Road and Pioneer Road meet.