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Solstitial phenomena - December 21/22 1999 -
last solstice/lunar fix of the century:
Sun enters Capricorn at 07:44 on December 22, 1999 - the actual point of solstice,
commonly known as the first day of winter.
Full Moon occurs at 17:31 on December 22 - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
This year's Full Moon is the first to occur on the Winter Solstice, December 22, for 133
Since the Full Moon on the Winter Solstice occurs in conjunction with a lunar perigée
(point in the Moon's orbit closest to the Earth), the Moon appears about 14% larger than
it does at apogée (the point in its orbit farthest from the Earth - during summer). This
makes it appear brighter.
The Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at present - during the Winter
Solstice - than it is at Summer Solstice (June 22). Mean distance from the Sun is
93million miles - variable. Sunlight striking the Moon at this perihelion (closest point
to the sun) is therefore about 7% stronger at this time, making the Moon appear still
This is also the closest perigée of the Moon all year. (The moon's elliptical orbit is
constantly shifting, forming & deforming because of variation in the Earth's
gravitational field.) That, combined with the Earth's perihelion, makes for an unbeatably
bright orb in the winter sky.
If the skies are clear (they are tonight - one night before full - December 21st -), then
it is possible to drive on a hill road without headlights and see quite clearly. [We don't
recommend you try it on the motorway].
This phenomenon has not occurred for 133 years - the last time it did occur was on
December 21st, 1866 . It is told that on that night the Lakota Sioux took advantage of the
combination of date & lunar condition to ambush soldiers in Wyoming Territory. Their
medicine men had foretold the lunar-solar event.
As darkness falls about 4p.m. in Northeast Scotland on the winter solstice, the full moon
will be rising [declination varies with altitude - see your own horizon]. At point of
complete night, about an hour later, the moon will become full and its luminescence
brighter than any it has shone for the last 133 years. It will not happen again for
approximately another 100 years.
Perhaps just one more phenomenon to add to this year's events: total solar eclipse, Grand
Cross; solstitial full moon.
No wonder our ancestors built fires to celebrate such celestial occurrences: this one is
from Trevor Allcott, sometime Crimond, presently in Texas:
If you have not yet read 'Uriel's Machine' by Christopher Knight &
Robert Lomas, I think you will find it a fascinating and important book. Whilst they have
some interesting insights into some of our stone circles, along with Newgrange and Bryn
Celli Ddu, the item which captures my imagination is that they have extracted from the
section of the Book of Enoch known as the Book of Heavenly Luminaries clear and simple
instructions for the construction and use of an accurate and sophisticated horizon
declinometer which would work at any latitude and with any sort of horizon features. The
item which has convinced me that they are on to something is that Thom's Megalithic Yard
is a physical function of the machine, within its natural geometry. You will recollect
that objections to Thom's theory were that it was an intellectual concept, and also that
the manufacture and distribution of standard measuring rods was not a reasonable idea for
that period of civilisation.
Here is the answer - Thom merely identified a natural characteristic contained within the
circles he surveyed.
Trevor Allcott is a member of Friends of Grampian Stones
is a non-profit charitable
organization registered in Scotland with the Capital Taxes Office number ED/455/89/JP
©1998, 1999, 2000 Friends of Grampian Stones
Editor: Marian Youngblood
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