During our discussion section about solar geometries we created solar charts online based on various cities around the world in order to see the difference between charts and how each of these solar charts related to the local chart.  From latitude and longitude data we created these solar charts, which then allowed us to determine the Sun’s altitude and azimuth on any given day.  On these 6-month charts, any date that was not on the chart could be determined by finding it’s opposite date (ex.  May 5th’s opposite would be November 5th).  We even created charts for Charlottesville and determined what the sun’s altitude and azimuth should be at the time of our discussion, which we then went outside to check.

My group’s city was Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Latitude/Longitude: 34′ 49’S, 58′ 32’W
90-Latitude=A on equinox
90-34 = 56 degrees on equinox

Solar chart for Buenos Aires, Argentina (June-December)

My birthday – May 5th @4:30pm
Altitude = 9 degrees
Azimuth = ~65 degrees
Charlottesville at the present (9/7/10 @ 3pm):
Azimuth: 235 degrees
Altitude: 39 degrees

It was interesting to see how these charts differ from location to location.  However, it was even better to be able to create such a chart, look up the current day and time, and actually go outside and find that the charts were correct.  With all the charts and graphs we get bombarded with sometimes, it was nice to be able to put one to real-world use.

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