celestial climbing frame   -  skeletal globe  -  eyeball observatory

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Patrick Moore checks out the Auckland Stardome Observatory Pipehenge from the navigator's seat. His eye is at the center of a skeletal sphere, with the summer and winter path of the sun indicated by the white arcs.
North is past the red pole, south past the blue pole, east past the green pole, and west past the yellow pole. 
The circle shows the path of the Southern Cross around the South Celestial Pole.
Pipehenge is  galvanised steel, joined with aluminium junctions and coated with a baked powder coating in 6 colours, set in concrete and surrounded by bark chips or safety matting.

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Pipehenge outside Stardome Observatory, Auckland, New Zealand

The Earth Space Simulator is the latest Pipehenge learning tool 

ESS is an interactive celestial sphere designed and manufactured in New Zealand

see Pipehenge at
See also the NZ Herald 18.01.2000 article "Sky not a limit, just an export chance" 

Pipehenge has been installed at hundreds of schools, observatories, parks and camps around NZ, Australia, UK, USA and Canada.

Cheryl Borchardt and her students at Palisade High School, Grand Junction, Colorado, install the first Permanent Pipehenge in the USA
Kristin Samson teaches science to 8th grade students at Eagle Hill Middle School in Manlius, New York, USA. On Nov 5 1999, Eric Jackson demonstrated a portable Pipehenge to them.


Eric Jackson demonstrates a Portable Pipehenge to  children at Glendale Elementary School, Amherst, New York, USA 
PPH_EJ_2kids_labels_SHS_USA2000.jpg (38343 bytes)
PPH_EJ_SweetHomeSchool_USA2000hall2.jpg (33061 bytes) Eric Jackson with a portable Pipehenge at Glendale Elementary School.

Eric Jackson demonstrates the latest model Pipehenge at Glendale Elementary School.
This equipment is constructed of heavy gauge powder coated steel pipe, with aluminium junctions.  The structure is manufactured in New Zealand, shipped in a compact component form and assembled on site. 

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Glendale_Buffalo_USA_July2000.jpg (250507 bytes) Glendale children enjoy the climbing frame aspect of Pipehenge while it is not in use as a teaching aid.
Clildren at Queenstown Primary School, New Zealand enjoy their new Pipehenge with Eric Jackson. This was one of the first 'third generation' Pipehenges to be installed in New Zealand.  
Note the curved meridian pipe of the '3rd generation' Pipehenge.

This Pipehenge in Queenstown is at latitude 45 degrees south, halfway from the equator to the South Pole.

Eric Jackson, Pipehenge inventor and promoter, explains astronomical concepts to schoolchildren inside a very early version of Pipehenge.

Pipehenge is now a registered design and is being installed around the world.
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wpeB.jpg (8833 bytes) An early version of Pipehenge in an Auckland school grounds. Note the shadow running straight through from the red North pipe to the blue South pipe. This only happens at solar noon, when the Sun reaches it's highest point for the day.
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The Portable Pipehenge can be quickly taken to pieces and set up elsewhere.
The student seated in the centre will see the midwinter sun move in an arc along the angled pipe in front of her.
If she sat there in midsummer she would see the Sun track along the large arc.
The red pipe is her North point, and if she looks behind her at night she will see the Southern Cross rotate around inside the circle.
This early model was designed for latitude 37 degrees. Current models are adjustable for any latitude - see www.pipehenge.com for details.

Young children can be intoduced to compass directions, and the approximate directions of sunrise, the noon-day sun, and sunset.

Older students can measure their latitude, the elevation of the South Celestial Pole, the altitude of the midwinter and midsummer sun, the exact direction of midwinter sunset, the exact time of solar noon, model eclipses, track planets, and much more.

Such activities can fit into geography, mathematics, science and outdoor education curricula.

When not being used as a teaching aid it is safe yet challenging climbing frame.

Contact the inventor, Eric Jackson: eric@pipehenge.com or ask the staff at Auckland Observatory for more information - they use a Pipehenge regularly!

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John Dunlop demonstrates the path of the sun at The Stardome Observatory in Auckland. Note the tennis ball which can show either the position of the sun as seen by the person on the Navigator's seat, or be used to model an eclipse of the sun.

The circle becomes an equatorial sundial when a tube is placed in the central ring. The shadow can be seen moving in less than a minute.


Aliens visit the Observatory! PH party 400.jpg (14157 bytes)
It is an excellent tool for teaching angles, our place on the globe, seasons, the concept of the Earth as a spinning ball, and for visualising the movement of celestial bodies across the sky. Suitable locations include school playgrounds, parks, and outside Observatories and Planetaria.

Visit also the www.pipehenge.com site  
and the www.EarthSpaceSimulator.com   site

To order a permanent or a portable Pipehenge or an Earth Space Simulator, contact Pipehenge Services Ltd:.

PO Box 91 222 AMSC Auckland, 
New Zealand 
Telephone 00 64 9 378 8969 
Facsimile 00 64 9 360 1191 
Email info@pipehenge.com
Web www.pipehenge.com 

Adapted from the old Stardome website by John Dunlop 24/3/03 and 2/1/05