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Friends of Grampian Stones

Friends of Grampian Stones

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Friends of Grampian Stones

FOGS or Friends: If you have a point you'd like included on this page, please send your idea/research or essay/thoughts-in-progress to subject line: for the editor

Solstitial phenomena - December 21/22 1999 -
last solstice/lunar fix of the century:

Sun enters Capricorn at 07:44 on December 22, 1999 - the actual point of solstice, commonly known as the first day of winter.
Full Moon occurs at 17:31 on December 22 - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

This year's Full Moon is the first to occur on the Winter Solstice, December 22, for 133 years.

Since the Full Moon on the Winter Solstice occurs in conjunction with a lunar perigée (point in the Moon's orbit closest to the Earth), the Moon appears about 14% larger than it does at apogée (the point in its orbit farthest from the Earth - during summer). This makes it appear brighter.

The Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at present - during the Winter Solstice - than it is at Summer Solstice (June 22). Mean distance from the Sun is 93million miles - variable. Sunlight striking the Moon at this perihelion (closest point to the sun) is therefore about 7% stronger at this time, making the Moon appear still brighter.

This is also the closest perigée of the Moon all year. (The moon's elliptical orbit is constantly shifting, forming & deforming because of variation in the Earth's gravitational field.) That, combined with the Earth's perihelion, makes for an unbeatably bright orb in the winter sky.

If the skies are clear (they are tonight - one night before full - December 21st -), then it is possible to drive on a hill road without headlights and see quite clearly. [We don't recommend you try it on the motorway].

This phenomenon has not occurred for 133 years - the last time it did occur was on December 21st, 1866 . It is told that on that night the Lakota Sioux took advantage of the combination of date & lunar condition to ambush soldiers in Wyoming Territory. Their medicine men had foretold the lunar-solar event.

As darkness falls about 4p.m. in Northeast Scotland on the winter solstice, the full moon will be rising [declination varies with altitude - see your own horizon]. At point of complete night, about an hour later, the moon will become full and its luminescence brighter than any it has shone for the last 133 years. It will not happen again for approximately another 100 years.

Perhaps just one more phenomenon to add to this year's events: total solar eclipse, Grand Cross; solstitial full moon.

No wonder our ancestors built fires to celebrate such celestial occurrences: this one is remarkable.
Happy Solstice
Marian Youngblood

from Trevor Allcott, sometime Crimond, presently in Texas:

If you have not yet read 'Uriel's Machine' by Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, I think you will find it a fascinating and important book. Whilst they have some interesting insights into some of our stone circles, along with Newgrange and Bryn Celli Ddu, the item which captures my imagination is that they have extracted from the section of the Book of Enoch known as the Book of Heavenly Luminaries clear and simple instructions for the construction and use of an accurate and sophisticated horizon declinometer which would work at any latitude and with any sort of horizon features. The item which has convinced me that they are on to something is that Thom's Megalithic Yard is a physical function of the machine, within its natural geometry. You will recollect that objections to Thom's theory were that it was an intellectual concept, and also that the manufacture and distribution of standard measuring rods was not a reasonable idea for that period of civilisation.

Here is the answer - Thom merely identified a natural characteristic contained within the circles he surveyed.
Trevor Allcott is a member of Friends of Grampian Stones

Friends of Grampian Stonesis a non-profit charitable organization registered in Scotland with the Capital Taxes Office number ED/455/89/JP

©1998, 1999, 2000 Friends of Grampian Stones
Editor: Marian Youngblood

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