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Newgrange, winter solstice 2009

100e0132 Winter solstice at Newgrange this year was an extraordinary event. Snow, ice and below-zero temperatures gave the seasonal moment an added edge.

We were blessed with a picture-perfect sunrise on Sunday 20th December, and with the return of Martin Brennan to Ireland as keynote speaker at a conference at Newgrange Lodge.

The conference covered different aspects of the pioneering work of Brennan and his associates Jack Roberts and Toby Hall exploring the astronomy and related rock-art at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Speakers also discussed recent research into Mayan temples, western Irish Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments and evidence for precision astronomy and its recording at the Boyne sites.

100e0136Here are a series of photos of the solstice event at Newgrange on Sunday 20 December 2009. There are four sets: of the monument and horizon as the sun rises; of the shadow of the standing stone being cast towards the entrance to Newgrange; inside the monument shortly after the beam of light has left the inner chamber and the of the sun playing on the megaliths and rock art of the entrance kerbstone.

Photos © Kate Prendergast 2009

My article is available in the March-April edition of Minerva magazine.