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submitted 3 months ago by BackOnMyBS to c/nostupidquestions

The sun dial worked during daylight, but how did people agree on what time it was at night before clocks were invented?

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[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 months ago

Would it be that complicated if people knew the lunar cycle, especially since the lunar cycle is fairly static? Not everyone I'm sure but those that needed a better time would probably understand and pass that knowledge along for the night folk. Of course depends when in technology we're talking but I'd assume we humans understood those cycles pretty early for our survival, not in depth but they got the idea the lunar cycle didn't change like the seasons did and adjust as needed. I haven't read up on it so I'll be glad to hear more info.

[-] Adalast 2 points 3 months ago

The issue with using the lunar cycle for timekeeping at night is that the moon is not always visible in the sky at night. It is also not at the same spot in the sky every night, so the math on describing the time based on moon position is actually pretty complex, and unreliable for a consistent overnight clock. You might think that tides could be used as well, but it that is even more complex. In fact, some of the first analog computers were created to do the calculus required to solve the question of timing and tides.

this post was submitted on 26 Feb 2024
183 points (98.4% liked)

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