The Scientific Discovery Behind Stonehenge and the Summer Solstice; Alanna Martinez; Observer

UK – Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

Wednesday, June 21 marks the Summer Solstice in the Western Hemisphere, the longest day of the calendar year. In England, people will gather at the ancient UNESCO World World Heritage site known as Stonehenge, a 5,000-year-old circular henge comprised of giant stone megaliths, to watch the sunrise and celebrate the pagan holiday—which for some also means dancing in the buff. But the reason for the annual festivities, and for building Stonehenge itself, originates with a scientific achievement that changed the world as we know it: accurately calculating the size of the Earth. And while many associate Pagans and Druids with the holiday, the solstice’s scientific history also has roots in ancient Greece, according to the Guardian.

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