It may not seem like it, but the days are still getting shorter, at least until Dec. 21.
Dec. 21 marks the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice.
To celebrate the days once again beginning to grow longer, the public is invited to observe the solstice from the Okanagan’s own Penhenge on Munson Mountain.
The gathering begins at 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 21, ahead of the anticipated sunset at 3:27.
For eight years, the solstice has been watched from the top of Munson Mountain, with over 60 people making their way to Penhenge on the top last year.
Organized by the Penticton group of the Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (OCRASC), members will be on hand to answer questions as well as describe the significance of what is taking place.
This year also features a performance from Sam McNally, a recent member of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and teacher at the Penticton Academy of Music. McNally will play a horn fanfare at the moment of sunset on Munson Mt., as well as an eight-minute, three-movement piece for solo horn at a post-solstice celebration which will follow at nearby Township 7 Winery from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Penhenge is a standing stone array located at the top of Munson Mountain above the Penticton sign. Chris Purton, a retired scientist at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at White Lake, designed the array of four stones to mark out the equinoxes and solstices through the year.
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