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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

MITHenge by Melis A. '08

Blinded by the light.

Every June 21st, thousands of people flock to Stonehenge to watch a very special sunrise. On this day, the summer solstice, the sun is perfectly positioned to shine through the narrow opening between the heel stones and onto the altar stone. The monument was built about five thousand years ago and historians still do not know whether it was built for religious or scientific purposes.


Image from the BBC.

A similar phenomenon occurs semiannually at MIT. For the past four special days, the sunset was at the perfect angle to beam down the Infinite Corridor. At 4:50 pm, people popped their heads out of their offices and labs to see this special occurrence.

And voila! It was pretty cool, and I was only slightly blinded from the experience. Missed it this year? No worries, find out when you can see it next here.

25 responses to “MITHenge”

  1. MIT’s own stonehenge? o boy.. that’s cool!

  2. Adam S. says:

    That’s excellent. grin I had heard about it before – one of my friends had seen it. Great pictures, by the way. They turned out well for being pictures of the sun.

    Just a quick fix for your post – your link to the BBC article is missing the http part. It should be
    [a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/5098706.stm”]BBC[/a]

  3. Melis says:

    Thanks for the tip, Adam! I just fixed the link.

  4. Jillian says:

    That’s really cool! If all goes well, I’ll be there next year when it happens smile

  5. deji says:

    i wish to be there

  6. deji says:

    i wish to be there

  7. bon bon says:

    way cool. Historians must agree that MITHenge was built for scientific purpose. : )

  8. Keri says:

    I went to the third floor to try and see MITHenge, but there’s construction blocking the Infinite in building 4, so that was the end of that.

    It looked pretty great from the second floor, though.

  9. Solomon says:

    This is really awesome. Bon Bon you must agree with me that the stone henge was built for religious purposes.

    Any one else to share her or his opinion.

  10. Sarab says:

    Nice! Though I ain’t really religious it sure is cool to watch!

  11. Josh V. says:

    I love oool phenomena like this. I will def have to see this one if march brings good news!

  12. Timothy says:

    This sounds like an experience whose really beauty can be experienced only in person. This is really wonderful all the same.

  13. Peter says:

    What a coincidence, some archeologist found a villiage buried underground under stonehenge just yesterday, built around the same time too, according to them. But, anyway, cool.

  14. bhushan says:

    awesome u people really njoy every part of life
    hope to see all such stuff next yr

  15. MMMM….. MIT will be a prominent figure in history, with or without a “HENGE” . Just wish to know whether MIT likes people of explorer type enough to find out a new henge, somewhere hidden in earth, or in space?

    And YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! HTML is working……. I just found it in the preview.

  16. Hola ariel, desde que parte de mundo es tu? La arquitectura en la Photographia en tu página parece islámico, turco, pero estás escribiendo allí en español

  17. Melis says:

    You’re always welcome to find a new henge! Sorry, though I took 3 years of Spanish in high school, I’m a bit rusty… I’m from Maryland. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask, but English is my language of choice =)

  18.  Thank you melis ché , oops sorry, I wanted to say friend, I visited ariel's space, and found everything in espaneol, but the picture seems to be showing a turkish style mosque, thats what I ask him 
  19. Alyssa says:

    I recall being told about this phenomenon when I had a campus tour back in August. (I think it was August…) You guys are really consistent with your traditions and explaining them to the fullest. Cool science in action!

  20. Alan Eliasen says:

    I might note that there is a small amount of error in the predictions in the official MIT pages on MIThenge. (Making them off by a day, even.) I’ve produced some more detailed and up-to-date predictions for the sun (and moon!) at my MIThenge pages.

    I’d be happy to get observations from anyone who observes!

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