While looking at this photo of a 24-hour clock: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Greenwich_clock_1-manipulated.jpg

... it struck me that, maybe, it could be seen as a visual representation of how the sun "travels" (from our perspective) "around" the Earth, here seen "from the side" from space.

But I'm not sure it holds up. Is this accurate? I can almost swear that I've seen clocks where the "hour dial" is a sun, which would further hint at this.

If this is the case, I find it very fascinating and it will make me look at clocks in a whole new way. (Sadly, all the ones I've ever seen in real life have been 12-hour ones, so this visual representation cannot hold up for those.)

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome. I doubt the question has an answer in the earth sciences. To my limited knowledge the 24h dial has simply practical reasons, it's less ambigous than the 2*12h dial. $\endgroup$ – user20217 May 17 '20 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ "Hour thingie", "hour dial"? Do you mean hour hand? $\endgroup$ – Fred May 18 '20 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ You might try astronomy.stackexchange.com for this one. If you're asking whether the clock hand represents the Sun's azimuth (ie, if you could lay the clock flat and have it point to where the sun is or would be) for a given location, the answer is no: the Sun's azimuth does not increase uniformly. $\endgroup$ – user967 May 18 '20 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ They could still use a sundial. But then they'd have to convert from true local time to standard mean time +/- time zone +/- dst or not ... :-) $\endgroup$ – user20217 May 18 '20 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @a_donda Even with all that and even allowing for the Equation of Time, still no. The azimuth angle the sun traverses in one hour is not constant in a given day, much less throughout the year. If your clock points due south at high noon in the Northern Hemisphere, it'll point southeast 3 hours later, but that's not where the sun will be. $\endgroup$ – user967 May 19 '20 at 3:19

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