Lunar clock to be built by River Thames by 2012

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London, September 3 (ANI): Scientists and artists are planning to build a 40m-wide lunar clock by the River Thames by the year 2012.

According to a report by BBC News, the aim is to create a new London landmark close to the proposed Olympic stadium as a monument to a more natural way of marking time.

The proposed site is at East India Dock, six miles along the river from Westminster Palace. It is currently a bedraggled nature reserve.

The designers of the clock hope that the instrument will become as iconic as Big Ben, which has been marking time for 150 years.

Laura Williams, an East London artist, explained that the clock would be powered by the tides from the Thames.

"There are three giant concentric rings made from recycled glass. Light shines through from the glass in time with the Moon's cycles so the largest ring shows the lunar phase," she said.

"Gradually, the light waxes on all the way around the ring and connects full circle when it's full Moon," she added.

"The second ring is like the big hand of the clock. It's a marker of light that tracks the Moon around the globe so that's the lunar day cycle," said Williams.

"The third ring - the smallest - is the small hand that tracks the tide as it goes from high tide to low," she said.

The clock has been called Aluna. It is a word from the Kogi indigenous people of Colombia.

"It means memory, possibility. It's also being in tune with the planet's rhythms and living in harmony with our planet," said Williams.

According to Dr Usama Hasan, an astronomer, in this age of iPods and atomic clocks, there is a greater need than ever for an older way of measuring time.

"Aluna is a project which tries to connect us back to the cosmic cycle, with nature. I think that's very important especially in the very technological age we live in," said Hasan. (ANI)

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