Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice Sunrise- Live from Ireland

Winter Solstice Sunrise
the not live version 

Did you know that 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy? Timely, eh? Looks like there's a new push for science education as the Bush Era begins to fade. Or something.

The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei.
The Irish government will be celebrating this new era of scientific enlightenment by webcasting the winter solstice sunrise from Newgrange:
The Irish Node of IYA2009 and the Office of Public Works in Ireland are inviting you to join in watching a live webcast of the winter solstice sunrise on December 21st from the neolithic passage tomb of Newgrange, in County Meath, Ireland.
Newgrange has a long and mysterious history:
Built at least 5,200 years ago---1,000 years before Stonehenge---Newgrange and its mysterious neighbors, the megalithic passage tombs of Knowth and Dowth, were built by a lost, technologically advanced civilization. Working before the invention of the wheel, 300 workers took 20 years to shift 200,000 tons of stone from as far as 50 miles away to build it. Nobody is quite sure why.

In 1969, archaeologists working deep inside, about 15 feet underground, made a startling discovery. At sunrise on the winter solstice---the shortest day of the year---a thin beam of sunlight, channeled through a precisely aligned opening, penetrates the inner chamber and floods it with blinding light.- Fodors

Now I don't know about you, but nothing says "science" to me quite like "ancient Celtic sun worship."

Let's take a peek at the icon for the International Year of Astronomy. Two figures, one large and one small, stars, hmmm....
...if I didn't know better I'd almost think that was meant to symbolize the Sirius binary star system, one large star and one small. But hey, what are the odds of that, right?

Surprise of surprises, we also see a similar binary star looming over the DNC '08 logo as well, and some other stars obviously in the distance. Wonder if that has anything to do with some of the (alleged) Sirius symbolism we've been (allegedly) looking at lately, vis a vis the election. 

 UPDATE: Here's an interesting twist on this story.