Here is another project idea. one that starts taking time, so I am going to write it down like my other ideas and whatever will be will be.
As with all my ideas, I would be happy to find something similar that already exists and, truth is, I haven’t spent much time searching for this…
So I would like to have an “ornament” or machine that you can take with you outside to somewhere that you can see the stars, hammer the stand into the ground (or perhaps use a tripod) and fasten the moving mechanism to it. It would have 2 disks – one showing the equatorial plane and one showing the ecliptic plane. You would position the equatorial by looking through a tube or a sight to Polaris or the equivalent in the southern hemisphere. The second sight will be the connection between the planes. It can be aimed at the equinox. Once it is aimed, time is calibrated by rotating barrels that represent the hours and minutes. As time progresses, you can turn a crank and it will rotate the mechanism about the earths axis and automatically align the constellations.
Each of the aiming sights will have a star map with a simple LED back light on a switch to show a star map and to recognize what you are aiming at.
The angle between the disk planes is 23.5 degrees.
There will be a map of each of the constellations around the ecliptic plane.
There will be a leveling device to set an additional plane, level to the ground and a plane that rises towards Polaris by setting the date. You can then read the viewer’s current latitude directly as the difference between the seasonal plane and the equatorial. Likewise there will be a method of reading the longitude by measuring the difference between level and seasonal midnight and compare this to the intersection axis of the ecliptic plane and the equatorial plane.
Essentially it will be a simple geo-locator without gps – what I set out to do in my 4th year of university. Better late than never.
And it should be light enough to ship in the below 5kg mail…