Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Evening Star setting at Newgrange, Ireland

The Evening Star, Venus, setting behind Newgrange. Click image to see larger version.
More than 5,000 years ago, the people who built Newgrange peered out into the heavens and watched the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars. They recorded some of these apparently complex movements on the giant stones which make up their enormous passage-mounds. A folk tale about Newgrange says that once in eight years, the morning star (Venus) shines into its chamber on the morning of the winter solstice. The above photo was taken coming up to summer solstice, with Venus on the opposite side of the sky to the winter solstice position. Mercury is also in this picture, higher up, above Newgrange, but is very difficult to see.
An eerie mist surrounds the cattle on the fields in front of Newgrange, with Venus to upper right.
Newgrange and Mound B with mist forming on the Boyne in the afterglow.

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