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Polar sun path chart program

This program creates sun path charts using polar coordinate for dates spaced about 30 days apart, from one solstice to the next. You can create a chart for the entire year, or one for either the months of June through December, or December through June. If you opt to create a chart for half the year, you may also select between local standard time and local solar time. However, if you create a chart for the entire year, it will automatically use local solar time. There are a several options available to allow you to alter the chart's appearance.
Resulting charts are displayed in your Web browser window, and they are meant to be printed out. Two file formats are currently available: PDF (Adobe), and PNG, an international standard.
Please note that some charts for arctic or antarctic latitudes may display improperly. To plot sun path charts in Cartesian coordinates go to our sun path chart Web page. For more information, visit our Web page about using sun path charts.

Step 1—Specify location

  Use these values:
        Latitude (decimal degrees)
        Longitude (decimal degrees)
    [Important: south latitude and west longitude are given in negative degrees. Minutes and seconds must be converted to decimal degrees; e.g., 30 min. = 0.5 deg.]
  Look up location with:
        US 5-digit ZIP code

Step 2—Specify time zone

  Time zone

Step 3—Choose data to be plotted

  Plot dates 30 or 31 days apart, between solstices, December through June.
  Plot dates 30 or 31 days apart, between solstices, June through December.
  Plot dates 30 or 31 days apart, between solstices, for whole year. (local solar time, only)
  Plot hours in local solar time
  Plot hours in local standard time

Step 4—Set chart format parameters

  Color sun path curves
  Set style of sun path curves to
  Make sun path curves pixels wide
  Color hour curves
  Set style of hour curves to
  Make hour curves pixels wide
  Color chart label
  Enter optional text, such as location name, for display in the chart label. Parameters such as latitude will be shown automatically.
  Line 1
  Line 2

Step 5—Choose file format for chart

  PDF (Portable Data Format).
We recommend this format, provided you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. PDF files can be easily resized to fit any printer page size.
  PNG (Portable Network Graphics).
This format may be useful to you, especially if you have Netscape Navigator version 4.x, or later, for Microsoft Windows. However, this format cannot be resized without using a graphics editor. Hint: If the file doesn't print on a single sheet of paper, check your printer settings and browser page settings (margins). It is also possible to import the PNG file into a document and resize the image in the document before printing the page.

Step 6—Click the 'Create chart' button


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© 2022, UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory.
Last revised: April 4, 2022.

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