Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Astronomical Clock, York Minster

One of the main attractions in York Minster, located in the historic city of York (North England) is the Astronomical Clock. This is a memorial to the men of the Royal Air Forces of the Commonwealth and their Allies who, operating from bases in Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, gave their lives during World War II.




The edge of the large convex disc represents the horizon as seen from an aircraft directly over York and flying South. A plan of the Minster and the City Walls is picked out in gold in the centre. The clock’s ‘Sun’, represented by a gold disc, rises and sets on the horizon at the actual times of sunrise and sunset throughout the year. It crosses the vertical, South pointing wire at noon. From day to day its path along the silver band representing the ecliptic varies so that it rises higher in the summer than in the winter. The dials at the bottom show, on the right, Greenwich Mean Time and on the left, the sidereal or star time. The dial on the other side of the clock shows the North Circumpolar Stars visible from the latitude of York, circling round the Pole Star.  

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