Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate)

Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? If so what did it mark? Thanks for your time.

On midsummers day the Sun rises directly over a particular stone in Stonehenge (go here for a picture).

This was discovered in the 18th century so it has long been assumed that Stonehenge was a temple for the worship of the Sun. It has been argued by several people that this alignment cannot have been accidental and that it would have been possible to use Stonehenge as an Astronomical calculator (i.e. to predict the dates of eclipses). Other people disagree with this conclusion.

There are also many other alignments that the stones of the henge create. Most of these are aligned with solstices and equinoxes are are detailed here http://www.tivas.org.uk/stonehenge/stone_ast.html 

This page was last updated on February 10, 2016

 

 

About the Author

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters
Website:  http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk/

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