Happy Winter Solstice

Today the northern hemisphere of the Earth is maximally inclined away from the Sun, producing the shortest day. This is due to the axial tilt of the Earth, driving the seasons as we hurtle around our home star each year.

From here on, imperceptibly at first, our days grow longer in the northern hemisphere and shorter in the southern hemisphere.

This change in daylight is like a trigonometric Sine wave and will accelerate as winter advances, reaching its greatest rate of change near the Spring equinox in March.

The image I’ve shared was taken from inside one of the the passage cairns at Clava a few years ago on Dec 21st, a site with claimed mid winter significance. Sure enough light flooded into the back of the cairn via the south western aligned passage.

The truth is we don’t really know the real significance of these structures, and are left to speculate, sometimes more wildly than the evidence deserves. But it’s fun and captivating to imagine what could well have been ancient connections linking landscape, culture and the heavens above.

Seasons greetings everyone.

One thought on “Happy Winter Solstice

  1. Well the light shines in a Newgrange in Ireland and I think Maes Howe in the Orkney Islands but it could just be coincidence and the orientation of the entrance random.As I recall West Kennet Long Barrow faces east,East Kennet Long Barrow north and Wayland’s Smithy south.Although these long barrows are early Neolithic so older.

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