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The Sun shining through the Stonehenge monument. Sun rise on the summer solstice was the most important time the Sun would shine through the monument.
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Astronomy at Stonehenge

Simple astronomy was probably practiced at Stonehenge over 4,000 years ago. These ancient observers would especially observe the movement of the Sun and Moon across the sky.

Stonehenge actually lines up with the place the Sun rises on midsummer morning, the longest day of the year. It would have been important to know when this was going to happen, because it is a good marker of the seasons. And farmers need to know when seasons are going to change. That midsummer morning and the mornings around that time were probably big celebration days!

Last modified September 15, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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