Maeshowe December 1998- January 1999
7 January 1999 digital experiments
11 January 1999 Page 1 Sunset in Maeshowe - digital pix
11 January 1999 Page 2 "Flashing" observed and recorded - transparencies
19 January 1999 brilliant sunset -digital pix (2 pages of images)
30 January 1999 another sunset at Maeshowe - brilliant illumination of chamber
The Neolithic chambered cairn of Maeshowe (or Orkahowe as the Vikings called it) has several winter solstice alignments. Apart from the obvious shortest day sun shining down the passage, the sun in fact shines down the passage and illuminates the back wall for several weeks on either side of the solstice, weather permitting. Recent studies by myself and Victor Reijs have shown that Maeshowe may in fact be much more than a winter solstice site.
Winter Solstice the setting sun illuminates the north west side of
the entry passage of the cairn as in this photograph. About
twenty minutes before apparent sunset, the light hits the back wall,
first as a narrow beam, which gradually widens to a broad band of
light, before being extinguished.