Measuring Direction of the Sun

DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT A BRIGHT SUN. If there is enough smog or clouds in the air it is safe to look at a rising and setting sun on the horizon, but in perfectly clear air it is not safe even at sunrise or sunset.

When the sun is low it is pretty easy to accurately determine its direction with a compass or map. As the sun gets higher it is more difficult. With a folding sighting compass you can watch the sun's shadow from the lid IF the compass is level. The opposite end of the needle will read the sun's azimuth. Read the instructions with the compass for taking bearings or reading the direction / azimuth of distance objects.

If you have a sighting compass you can watch the sun's shadow against a flat level surface when the compass is pointed at the sun.

Measuring Sun's Azimuth with Sun's Shadow on
Suunto Tandum with Bull's Eye Level

Or build a "Homemade Transit" or "Simple Sundial" described in this section.

© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.