We conclude our three-part series reporting on the Kanayama Megaliths blog about the winter solstice. In the early afternoon of the solstice, the simulator is displaying perfectly the path of the sunlight. The spot of light strikes the observation panel precisely, which glows as if lit from within.
The winter sunset is also observable near the Senkoku-ishi. There is a pair of megaliths that clearly has been naturally divided in two. First take a look at the set-up. The sun is already striking the pair.
If you stand in back of the gap at sunset, you can gaze on this striking sight!
The reason that all these winter observations are possible in the mountainous terrain of the Kanayama Megaliths is that the megalith sites are intelligently located so as to take advantage of the astronomical geometry, i.e., the line to the winter solstice setting sun. Moreover, isn’t this a magnificent view of the place where the sun goes to rest in winter?
Ed. Note: In our earlier post https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/533/ we described the Solar Calendar Simulator at the time of the October 23, 2016 observation sixty days before the winter solstice in Iwaya-Iwakage. Here, we present the accurately simulated solar direction on winter solstice day after we returned from observing the sun from Higashinoyama.
Winter Solstice 2016.12.21 再現館 Seigenkan Simulator Building. In the early afternoon, we rested for a while at the Solar Calendar Simulator.
The sunbeam is now hitting the center of the target board at the lowest part of it. It is 13:08; it is still a little early for the simulation. This simulator also reproduces the light of winter solstice at Iwakage 60 days prior to the solstice.
13:26 Perfect! The sunlight shines in exactly at the orientation SW 24°33’ on the face of the board that simulates Iwaya-Iwakage. (It is azimuth 204 deg 33 min in the southwest direction, as we know from astronomical software.) The simulation is exactly right!
This device was made in modern times and corresponds accurately to the movement of sunlight. The light will hit the same place tomorrow and the day after because it is around the winter solstice when the sun’s path does not change much from day to day.
If this were a spring equinox day, you would see the light moving rapidly 1 to 2 cm per day toward the front. Do you know why? If you understand this, you can see why it can be applied to leap year observations!
The simulator hall shows the foundation of archaeological astronomy in an easy-to-understand manner. For modern astronomy, this is a blind-spot.
Next: Part 3. Iwaya-Iwakage and Senkoku-Ishi