Introduction to solar motion geometry on the basis of a simple model
Vyacheslav Khavrus1 and Ihor Shelevytsky2
1 IFW Dresden, PO Box 270016, D-01171 Dresden, Germany
2 Kryvyi Rih State Pedagogical University, Haharin Av., 54, Kryvyi Rih 50086, Ukraine
By means of a simple mathematical model developed by the authors, the apparent movement of the Sun can be studied for arbitrary latitudes. Using this model, it is easy to gain insight into various phenomena, such as the passage of the seasons, dependences of position and time of sunrise or sunset on a specific day of year, day duration for different latitudes and seasons, and time dependence of the solar altitude reckoned from the horizontal plane. We present simulations of the Sun path alongside animated data. We show that the model adopted can also be used to explain the principle of a horizontal sundial and to determine shadow areas. We give recommendations as regards how to build energy-effective houses and how to optimize solar cell positions.
Article Outline
The content presented in the linked parts is published by the journal "Physics Education" (2010 Phys. Educ. 45 641).