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College lecturer creates 'solar eye' with crystal balls
A HEREFORD blacksmith has created a solar device using crystal balls to plot the equinox.
Pete Smith, a lecturer at Herefordshire College of Technology’s Holme Lacy campus, spent two years perfecting the dial which optically traces the relationship between the sun and earth.
The hand-crafted device not only predicts the precise timing of the equinox, but shows how the sun’s zenith, or highest point, changes throughout the year.
The model is so accurate that, when he sells miniature models, he tweaks them depending on the buyer’s postcode, as the equinox is slightly different in one half of the UK than it is in the other.
Pete is one of only 11 ‘licentiates’ honoured by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths and his masterpieces include the entrance gates for Hereford Cathedral.
He has also completed projects and restoration work for English Heritage, the National Trust and Heritage Scotland and led a group of students in building a 16ft beacon which was lit on Garway Hill as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June.