Group to observe the winter solstice at Pen Henge

Public invited to ‘Pen Henge’ on Munson Mountain in Penticton

The public is invited to echo the ancient custom of observing the annual winter solstice at the Okanagan’s own standing stone structure ‘Pen Henge’ on Munson Mountain in Penticton.

The event, which marks the Sun’s southernmost setting point, will take place on Dec. 21 with interested people gathering around 2:45 p.m. in anticipation of sunset at 3:27 p.m.

“For most of the year the structure simply illustrates the enormous range along the western horizon where the Sun sets. Most people subconsciously know of this, but they are quite fascinated to see the idea laid out so graphical,” said Purton.

Pen Henge designer Chris Purton, who is a retired scientist at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at White Lake, noted that the gathering time of 2:45 p.m. will allow the group to prepare to mark the sunset phenomenon when the rays of the setting sun will extend from the winter solstice stone to the heel stone.

The actual time of the solstice will be at 8:28 a.m. on Dec. 21. The solstice gathering is being organized by the Penticton meeting group of the Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (OCRASC) and members will be on hand to answer questions as well as describe the significance of what is taking place.

The Pen Henge standing stone array is located at the top of Munson Mountain above the Penticton sign on the east side of Okanagan Lake. The array consists of four stones that delineate the sunset points on the four cardinal dates of the year. Anchored by the Heel Stone, the Equinox Stone points to the Sun’s sunset point at both the Spring and Fall Equinoxes, while the other two stones mark the Winter and Summer Solstice setting points respectively.

A brass plaque with a brief explanation of the array is permanently attached to the top of the heel stone.

Just Posted

Professor to talk climate change at the Shatford

It’s not too late to save the world from the negative impacts… Continue reading

Statements about Trout Creek School future described as ‘reckless’

Summerland incumbent trustee Linda Van Alphen says school district’s financial situation has improved

Naramata honours Syilx culture

New community sign recognizes traditional name for area

City taking steps to avoid parking congestion at polls

Parking measures in place for residents voting at the PTCC

Video: Future brightens for Walla Artisan Bakery in Penticton

Protege learning the bread-making craft from master baker Benjamin Manea

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Okanagan water conference builds connections

Experts gathered to discuss water and fisherie sustainability objectives

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Most Read