Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Winter Solstice at Newgrange, Co. Meath

It's nearly time for the amazing phenomenon of the solstice at Newgrange, Co. Meath. When the tomb was constructed over 5,000 years ago it was built in such a way that sunlight could enter the chamber through a roofbox at dawn on the shortest days of the year.
The entrance to Newgrange passage tomb, the lightbox is the small opening at the top of this image
The light travels through the lightbox, and snakes its way along the passageway before dramatically illuminating the chamber. It is an extraordinary testament to the engineering skills of those who constructed this site over 500 years before the Great Pyramid at Giza was constructed and over a thousand years before Stonehenge.

If you are lucky you can witness this incredible event next Winter by taking part in the annual Newgrange lottery or you can view the event live by Webcast from about 8:30am on the 21st of December.

For a more detailed discussion about this phenomenon I recommend this excellent post by