Learn how to create and use sundials and astrolabes.

Shadows is a free software used to design sundials and astrolabes. It can be used by everyone without any required technical skills. Shadows will calculate and print the drawing according the user's preferences. Shadows is used by thousands of users around the world. Discover the world of sundials on this web site through educational pages and photo galleries.


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Key points of Shadows

 Totally free of charge in its entry level

 The simplest tool for designing a customized sundial

 Sundial layout is highly customizable

 Calculates, draws and prints drawings at real scale

 Simulates, displays and animates the shadow of the style

 Data base of 3500 locations with latitude, longitude and time zone

 Exports drawings to other drawing or CAD applications (in DXF or WMF format)

 Plane sundials with polar style of any orientation or reclination

 Analemmatic, cylindrical and bifilar sundials

 A unique tool to understand how astrolabes work

 Planispheric, universal and mariner's astrolabes (front and back)

 Rotation of the astrolabe rete and alidade

 Complete solar ephemeris

 Solar diagram with horizon mask

 Graphs of Equation of time

 Optimization of solar pannels orientation

 Complete online help

 Available in 15 languages

Try Shadows!

 Download Shadows
 Upgrade to Shadows Pro
 Read Users testimonies
 See Users Sundials
 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 Learn more about sundials
 Learn more about astrolabes


sundial by Andrea Bomben



A large choice of sundial types

Shadows offers a choice among a lot of different types of sundials:

Each type is described precisely and can be configured step by step using the Sundial creation Wizard.

You can start with a simple type of sundial (garden sundial or horizontal sundial for example) and progressively discover more technical types later.

Selection of the type of sundial

The sundial is drawn to scale

Vertical due South sundial calculated and drawn by Shadows. The user can add text and images and customise the drawing options. The position of the style is marked with points A (gnomon) and B (polar style).

Once designed on screen, your sundial will be printed to scale on one or several pages depending on its size. Then you just need to reproduce the drawing on the final material. You can also print a template to cut the style, and print the coordinate list to use with a protractor and a ruler.

Vertical sundial

sundial by Andrea Bomben


A sundial designed for your home

The sundials created with Shadows are totally customiseable for your location and the wall declination. The program comes with a database which contains more than 3500 cities from 86 countries over the world, each with its latitude, longitude and time zone. Obviously, you can enter new records in the database, especially using the Google Earth or the Google Maps interface.

You can create sundials for any place on Earth, even in the southern hemisphere. Shadows offers you to create a genuine and accurate sundial you certainly will enjoy more than any ready-made sundial you can find in a garden shop.


Adding a new location in the database

Simulation of the shadow

Shadows contains an exciting tool that simulates the shadow of the style for the current instant, or in an animated mode during the day. The program also calculates the shadow cast by a roof, in order to check if the sundial will always be lit all the year long.

The simulation of the shadow can be used during educational activities, to explain variations of the Sun altitude depending on the season, or to introduce astronomy concepts such as inclination of the Earth axis, seasons, etc.

Simulation of the style shadow

sundial by Andrea Bomben


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Photos:
- top banner: stained glass sundial made by John Carmichael, sundial maker in Tucson (AZ), USA, www.sundialsculptures.com.
- sundial with analemma: sundial realized by Andrea Bomben, Shadows user in Italy.

Sundial - Cadran solaire - Sonnenuhr - Reloj de sol - Cuadrante solar - Meridiana - Orologio solare - Relógio de sol - Quadrante solar - Zonnewijzer - Zegar słoneczny - Sluneční hodiny - Coлнeчныe чacы - Solur - Cлънчeв чacoвник

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