Community Gathers to Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the UMass Sunwhee

On June 20, 2012, many gathered to watch the sun rise and set over the tall standing stones at the University of Massachusetts sun wheel to celebrate the summer solstice. A condensed astronomy lecture was given by University of Massachusetts astronomy professor Steve Schneider.

At the time of the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest. At noon, the sun passes directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer. This year, the instant of the summer solstice occurred at 7:09 on June 20th.

A sun wheel is a solar calendar and observatory consisting of outdoor circle of stones, each lining up with the locations of the setting and rising sun at the time of the solstices and equinoxes.

The UMass sun wheel was constructed by Professor Judith Young of the Department of Astronomy. It's construction began in May of 1997.

Music: Naive Waves -- The Lost Runner
Earth photo by Kevin M. Gill

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