I created some image overlays to help illustrate how to easily measure the angle of the sun. I posted several photos below to make it easier to visualize. I like to use a clock face because it is a simple universal method which transcends all language barriers & is familiar to everyone worldwide without requiring any special knowledge. The photos below show several pertinent measurements using a clock face overlay, a 360 degree overlay and a compass overlay in conjunction with the solar positions. Pretend to be standing in the center of a clock which is lying flat on the ground. I included several annual solar position measurements so you can see how to use a clock face determine angles. If you pick a landmark, building, tree, etc to mark the position of the sun when it is in contact with the horizon at sunrise & sunset on the solstice, it will help you to align the angle changes each year. You can also use Google Earth satellite imagery to align with true north. Align the imaginary clock with 12 for north, 6 south, 3 east & 9 west.
This example shows where each annual sun position falls on the clock face.
If you prefer to use 360 degree measurements, here are the examples of the overlay using that method.
This is a closeup of the 360 directions using the same North South orientation.
The third method is using compass directions.
Here is a closeup of the compass directions using the same north south orientation.
I still think the clock face method is the most simple but any of these methods will work to estimate the angle of the sun to let us know how far our axis has shifted. Keep in mind, our measurements are approximations. We don’t have the equipment for precise measurements. But we can get quite close in our estimates.
The measurements are best taken at sunrise in the east & sunset in the west at the moment the sun is in contact with a flat horizon. The best time to take measurements for those living in the northern hemisphere is Jun 21st, the summer solstice. For those living in the southern hemisphere, the best time to take measurements is December 21st, the winter solstice. These are the dates when the sun is the furthest north (June) & furthest south (December). Also known as the longest & shortest days of the year. The two hemispheres being mirror images, reversed & upside down regarding seasons, etc.
The sun travels in an arc, so do not try to measure it in the air. You can still see the abnormal position of the sun in the weeks leading up to & after the solstice dates but it is in a constant slow state of change in position as we orbit the sun. Spring & Autumn are the same as before the axis shift except the seasons change more extreme from the additional tilt distances. You can understand better if you familiarize yourself with how the axis tilt & orbit around the sun cause the change in seasons. Basic orbital mechanics from grade school science.
The sun which is now hundreds of miles further north in the summer is due to our axis shifting our global position several hundred miles toward the south in the summer. During the winter, the tilt is in a reversed perspective where we are some hundred miles farther to the north which causes the sun to appear too far to the south. This situation has essentially moved the tropic of cancer north of the US from its mid Mexico position & the Tropic of Capricorn to the south of Africa & Australia (with a decrease since the 2015 reversion).
Anyone in the US who grows houseplants always knew there was no sunlight in our northern windows until 2005 and avoided those windows for plants. I also used to have an outdoor pen for my cats on the north side of my house & an aviary on the north side of a subsequent house. Neither ever had direct sunlight on the north side of those homes at any time of day. This always troubled me that the pets never could enjoy the sunlight but the north side was the only location available. Even at noon, the house cast a shadow on the north side so they were always in a shadow. This was all before the axis shifted.
Since the first major axis shift occurred in 2004, the sun now streams into the northern facing windows at sunrise & sunset. Even at high noon, there is no longer a shadow on the north side since there was less than an inch of shadow this year 2015.
In 2014 the new tropic of Cancer was north of the Canadian border. The reversion in 2015 moved the line back down north of the Oklahoma border. Since the axis shift in 2004, we now have the Sunrise & sunset streaming sunlight into our northern windows each June and no shadow cast on the north side of the house.
There was a significant increase in the sun position toward the north in 2014 adding to the axis shifts after 2004 which totaled about 2000 miles to our axis tilt. Then there was a marked decrease in 2015 reducing our axis tilt from 2000 miles to about 850 miles. The photos show how the sun position has changed from year to year since 2004. They include several annual solar position measurements from central Texas taken on June 21st each year at sunrise & sunset.
As I mentioned, I believe this reversion (decrease from 2000 miles to 850 miles between June 2014 and June 2015 after a prior increase from 1200 to 2000 miles between 2013 and 2014) to be indicative of a death wobble just before the planet Axis makes the final shift onto its side. Like a spinning top wobbling just before it falls over. These frequent changes indicate a very disconcerting situation.
We will have to be diligent about tracking these solar measurements to verify this is a death wobble or not. The last two years have shown marked changes so it will be interesting to see the 2016 measurements. Hopefully, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere may see changes in December to alert us to the changes earlier. Their feedback will be critical in seeing the changes sooner if this turns out to be a death Wobble as I suspect.