A blog by an Irishwoman, written in both English and Swedish, depending on what humour is on me....
En blogg av en irländska, skriven på svenska och engelska.
Just scroll down to find the English bits among the Swedish, or vice versa.

Ta Gaeilge agam freisin, más é an rud é go bhfuil éinne eile le Gaeilge ag léamh mo bhlagsa.

Ich verstehe auch ein bisschen Deutsch, je parle un petit peu francais och klarar av lite norska med.

Wondering about the background of the blog? They're the Cliffs of Moher, in the neighbouring county, County Clare, 8km long, 700m high, and magnificent. Well worth a visit if anyone is around the West of Ireland

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the shortest day, or is it?

I always thought that today, the 21st December, was the shortest day in the year, I mean, the Winter Solstice, with the least amount of daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere. Today I read on the RTE website (Irish TV), that the Winter Solstice occurs officially tomorrow morning the 22nd. Nevertheless today is the day that people usually think of as the Winter Solstice. So today I told my pupils about the Solstice and about Newgrange Tomb, where the rays of the rising sun on the Winter Solstice enters a roof-box over the door of the passage way and the rays then proceed to illuminate the entire passageway and hit the back wall of the inner chamber.

Read more about it here on the RTE website

Imagine that early people knew enough about the sun and about building to be able to construct such a tomb which unfailingly is illuminated on just the few days around the Winter Solstice. Well, unfailingly, if the skies aren't clouded over and sadly today was a cloudy day.

Here is a link to Youtube, to make up for the lack of real sunlight...

it's a short excerpt from RTE News, less than 3 mins, where a professor talks to the reporter about the passage tomb, and they show a simulation of the light entering the roof-box. If you visit Newgrange as a tourist in the summer season, you can enter the tomb and part of the visit will include this simulation whereby they use artificial light to show the visitors what the rising sun would look like on Winter Solstice.
Only one more day left at work, then blessed holidays....

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