Equinox

UMass has a Sunwheel. It is a tiny astronomical henge designed and built by Dr. Judith Young. She installed one, and it was mowed over, then she and some students installed another and it was … modified, and finally she filed paperwork and got another department onboard and chose the driest piece of swamp she could find, and installed the third, which stuck, and eventually she added much larger pieces of Goshen stone to the outside, and it is quite delightful.

In non-pandemic times, there are faculty presentations at each solstice and equinox. This year there was a filming of a presentation, and us peons milling about in the background.

The thing about an equinox that is very different from a solstice, is that the sun is changing rising and setting locations, and times, at maximum velocity. The equinox has to be attended at the date and time established or you have missed it. The place the sun will set tonight is about 4o south from where it set last night, so catching it means something.

For one 24 hour stretch, everyone around the world had the same amount of daylight and darkness. For everyone, the sun rose properly in the east, and set as precisely as possible in the west. It is nice to think about, when everything else is on fire.


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