Amazing Veterans Day Memorial Designed to Only Work for a Moment Once a Year

It actually can only be seen perfectly at 11:11, on 11/11 each year:

veterans day memorial

Veterans Day Memorial Perfectly Aligned with the Sun for a Moment Today (Via Imgur, Click to See Full Size)

Dedicated on 11/11/11 at 11:11 Am. The Anthem Veterans Memorial in Anthem Arizona was funded mostly by donations:

Here is another angle when the sun reaches the Seal:

veterans day memorial seal

A better look at the Seal (Via Imgur, Click Image to See Full Size)

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10 Comments

  1. Morgan Glassco says:

    Thanks for sharing. Just put a calendar reminder for next year since it is not to far from me.

  2. Lance Ozier says:

    As beautiful and elegant this monument is, I hate to spoil the moment, but . . . the sun should also shine exactly on the seal on the day that is an equal number of days AFTER the Winter Solstice as 11/11 is BEFORE the Winter Solstice.

  3. David M says:

    Adding to Lance O’s comment, the solstice varies from year to year by up to eight hours roughly, so the timing at which the alignment of this monument will occur will also vary. The Earth orbits the Sun in approximately 365.25 days, hence the need for a leap year in the calendar. So one can’t make a monument that will work at precisely the same time on a set calendar day.

  4. Mike b says:

    Every year?!? How is the writer so ignorant of time and the real length of a year? Taking into account leap year the monument would only work every 4 years at that specified time.

  5. Tuco says:

    Perhaps instead of hand waving, let’s look at some numbers. Namely, the Sun’s altitude and azimuth at that time for several years into the future. And don’t forget things like leap seconds and leap years are adjustments applied to man-made scales that help keep the Sun in the sky relative to our topographical location where we have come to expect it over time.

    I can’t say what variables are accounted for in the US Naval Observatory’s Sun Altitude/Azimuth calculator you can find online but given their reported significant figures in the output, i’d say it’s close enough for this. And also close enough is the location. Scottsdale was the nearest town to select a location.

    Sun Alt/Az at Scottsdale, AZ for 11 November, 11:11

    Year Time Alt Az

    2013: 11:11 36.9 161.8
    2014: 11:11 37.0 161.8
    2015: 11:11 37.0 161.8
    2016: 11:11 36.8 161.8
    2017: 11:11 36.9 161.8
    2018: 11:11 37.0 161.8

    The monument’s works within the precision of a Sundial operating on Solar Time ( not corrected for civil time).

  6. Brock Robinson says:

    I think you could also adjust the hole size to account for leap year variations.

    Basically, make the hole a bit smaller than the varying outline of the sun, so it’s still 100% covered on all 4 years of the leap cycle.

    This is a very cool memorial.

    I would love to see a writeup from the designer.

  7. Darren says:

    This site has some info from the chief engineer. http://www.onlineatanthem.com/news/memorial-science

    “The time variance over 100 years was calculated to be a cyclical range of perfect illumination sometime between 11:10:58 AM and 11:11:22 AM, a difference of 24 time seconds.”

    • Darren says:

      Whoops. Didn’t see Moonpie already had the same link. :-/

  8. Heigh Zenbergh says:

    Today at 11:40 am was the sunpath match to last fall’s Nov 11th, 11:11 am position. Both days are 40 days from the solstice. I had ‘my people’ photograph it. No clouds – city ordinance prohibits clouds from gathering in public places during such events. The response above about the 24 sec error band in the ‘left-right’ alignment is a distraction from the bigger error in the up-down alignment that is tied to the leap year cycle. As the first photo above shows, the sun was too high last fall to get it spot on, so wait ’till 11/2016, when the leap year will cause a lower sun angle.

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