Category Archives: Seasonal observations

May 23 Sunrise over Stone C

During the summer observational season, the sun clears the top of Stone C, as seen from Stone A, near the middle. As page 31 of the Guidebook shows, the sun is at the exact center on summer solstice day, 6/21. That is as far north, i.e., to the left, as it can go.

The three photos above were taken by Chika-san on May 23 from 8:25 to 8:26 am. The sun on that day appeared slightly to the right of center because there are still around 29 days to go before summer solstice.

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May 23 Morning Sunlight on Lower Grotto

These photos were taken by Chika-san at sunrise on May 23, 2017 at Senkoku-ishi. We are looking at Stone A, standing near Stone C with our back to the rising sun. The first two photos were taken at 6:22 and at 6:28 am. Notice that the sun has risen and shines on the upper right part of Stone A, but the grottos are not yet illuminated. The third and fourth photos were taken at 6:36 and at 6:42 am. The shadow of Stone C on A is now clearly seen, and the lower grotto is still in shade at 6:36 but it is lit at 6:42am. The final photo is a close-up of the opening of the lower grotto at 6:42.

Please refer to page 30 in the Guidebook. The three photos shown on that page are dated 4/22, 6/21, and 8/20. The date of 4/22 is about 60 days before the summer solstice. The lower grotto is in deep shadow. The date of 6/21 is the summer solstice when the grotto is fully illuminated.

The photos we show above were taken around thirty days before the summer solstice. They show us how the lower grotto is gradually illuminated, minute by minute.

 

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May 22 and 23 at Senkoku-ishi

May 22, the second day of the dashed spotlight.

Today, the dashed light is clearer than it was yesterday. The bottom dash is slight, but it hits the corner. From tomorrow the width of this light becomes thicker and stronger; the light can be regarded as a dotted line until about the fifth day, the 25th of May.

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May 23, the third day of the dashed spotlight.

The observation is impressive today. A dash starts appearing one by one from the top. It takes about three minutes for up to six dashes to appear (see closeup below).

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この三角状の石面の凹凸も計算されているのでしょうか!? 完全に遊んでますね。

Is the roughness of this triangular stone surface deliberate? It plays perfectly!

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The dashed lights move downward. Approximately 3 minutes until the sixth dash appears. The six dashes will eventually disappear, one by one from the bottom. The show time of the dashed line spotlight continued for 30 minutes after it started.

 

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May 21 at Senkoku-ishi

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May 21 (Sun) First day of dashed line of light

Chunichi Shimbun reported the event.  Compared with yesterday, May 20th, we could clearly see four dashes of light today. We were interviewed by reporter Matsumoto from Chunichi Shimbun. It is the spotlight observation in Senkoku-ishi that takes place around 1 pm, thirty days before the summer solstice. The WEB NEWS is here Chubu Chunichi Shimbun (Hida) May 24, 2017. The visitors today were mainly from outside the prefecture. They began gathering at 12:30 pm.

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And at night we lit the Big Dipper cup-marks. We were worried there might be clouds, but fortunately we could see the starry sky. Visitors from the prefecture arrived at 7:30 pm.

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We could see the Big Dipper lying above us. Can you see it at the top of this photo? And low in the sky, Polaris sits above the megalithic group. This may be somewhat difficult to see but it is surely there in the photograph.

The Polar Star and the Big Dipper are far apart now, but about 5000 years ago they were closer. In other words, the North Star rotated around nearer the megaliths.

And when you connect seven of the nine cup-marks engraved on the megalith, the shape of the Big Dipper emerges. Isn’t it fantastic!

As you can see the picture above, the shapes of the actual Big Dipper and the stone cup-marks are mirror images. We do not know why this is so, but ancient people, in ruins around the world, also have inverted the shapes in the same way. And as to what the other two cup-marks mean … It seems that we contemporary people do not have any explanation.

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Most of the universe is unknown. Modern people have only a small amount of information of the whole, and there is no way we can even deny the possibilities of ancient times. In this sense, the Kanayama megalithic group can be said to be an instrument that not only measures time but also can measure the thinking power of people.

In any case … the enjoyment of the starry sky finished around 9:30 pm. We are considering starry sky viewing once more this summer, with the solar observation society in July or August. Next time, the Big Dipper will not be seen as it will be hidden behind a tree, but we want to do a cup-mark lighting. We want to watch the Amanogawa Milky Way and the Summer Triangle (of the stars Altair, Deneb, and Vega). We hope to share our passion with many of you.

 

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May 20 at Senkoku-ishi

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http://blog.livedoor.jp/kanayama_tour-kanayamamegaliths/archives/1066078821.html

2017年05月20日

夏至30日前★予告   30 days before Summer Solstice ★ Advance Notice

The temperature went up to 29 degrees, clear weather today. Daytime is green and the purple kiri (paulownia) is blooming. At night the kajika frog announces the beginning of summer.

Summer begins at the Kanayama Megaliths today. As usual, the Sekimen-ishi is the site of summer observations.

Inside the cavern at one in the afternoon, the entering spotlight is shown grazing the side of the megalith. Look carefully at the triangular protrusion and you’ll see two or three spots of light.

Today there are three spots. The dashed line will start to appear tomorrow, and the count-down begins. Today’s light is not clear; as in a leap-year, it alternates between two and three spots. The dashed-line spotlight will be clear and will certainly be recognized by everyone watching tomorrow. On the 21st, the actual observation begins. And the real pleasure begins!

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Iwaya-Iwakage Spotlight, April 2017

April 22 was a special date on the Kanayama Solar Calendar. It is one of the astronomical cross-quarters, a yontobun date, a half-angle date. On this day, the sun’s path is halfway from that of equinox to summer solstice, and the solstice is about 60 days away. The Kanayama calendar makes observations on the four yontobun dates. 

Last year, the spotlight on the floor of the cavern that appeared on 7/22 vanished after striking the Sekimen-ishi on 10/23 as the sun headed south for the winter. This was reported in a previous post. Now the days are getting longer since the sun is returning to the north. And the spotlight has returned!

The spotlight returned on 2/19, and its path on the floor of the Iwaya cavern has been daily moving from north to south as the sun’s path in the sky changes daily from south to north. The spotlight will soon disappear on 5/21, when the light show at Iwaya-Iwakage ends. On that date light returns to Senkoku-ishi down the hill from Iwaya. Then Senkoku-ishi carries on the job of observing the sun over the summer season.

On April 23, 2017, Chika-san visited Iwaya-Iwakage. She took many photos of the movement of the spotlight on the floor of the Iwaya, as it moved from left to right for the viewer, which is from west to east, as the sun traveled in the sky from east to west. She shows how it began as a speck, grew into an oval shape and then shrank toward the end when only a streak of light on the vertical rock pointed to where it was last seen.

Iwaya 0423 Synopsis PDFPlease refer to page 52 of the Kanayama Megaliths Guidebook. Note the red line labelled: 11:30  8/20  4/22  Track of the spotlight. That is the line she was tracking. We thank Chika-san for these photos which give us a visual summary of the start on the floor (marked with observation lines) until disappearance of the spotlight on the rock at the far right.

The 14 photos shown were taken at the following times, ten minutes apart in the middle, a minute or two apart at beginning and end:

11:34     11:35     11:36     11:38

11:40     11:50     12:00     12:09

12:21     12:30     12:41     12:50

12:52     12:53

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