Stonehenge may also have a surprising and mysterious connection to the Moon

The link between Stonehenge and the "Major Lunar Standstill" phenomenon, a mystery that combines archeology and astronomy to explain ancient celestial alignments

Have you ever wondered how our ancestors perceived the starry sky? Stonehenge, with its massive monoliths, has been a crossroads of earth and sky for millennia, known for its spectacular solar alignments during the solstices. On the night of the summer solstice, tens of thousands of people gather around the historic Heel Stone to witness the sunrise perfectly aligned with this ancient monolith. Similarly, the winter solstice attracts a significant crowd who gather to watch the sunset through the stone circle, an event that occurs six months after the summer. However, less known is its mysterious connection with the Moon. Indeed, the site hides lunar secrets that we are only now beginning to understand thanks to modern archaeological and astronomical investigations.

For about sixty years, it has been hypothesized that Stonehenge also has a precise alignment with the phases of moonrise and moonset during the so-called “major lunar standstills.” Despite this correlation being known for decades, systematic and documented observations at Stonehenge have not been conducted. An ambitious project currently underway, involving collaboration between English Heritage and various academic and scientific institutions, aims to document these phenomena never systematically observed before.

The mystery of the “Station Stones”

In addition to the large sarsens, Stonehenge includes 56 pits arranged in a circle, an earthwork, and a ditch, along with other minor elements such as the four “station stones.” These four sarsen blocks, typical of the Wiltshire area, form a rectangle that almost perfectly frames the stone circle, but today only two remain. The rectangle formed by these stones, whose longer ends extend beyond the outer circle, is believed to be aligned with the “major lunar standstills.” During these events, the moon moves between two extreme points on the horizon, a cycle that repeats every 18.6 years. These alignments may have had a particular significance for those who built Stonehenge.

It is believed that the initial construction of Stonehenge (3000-2500 BC) had links to these lunar phenomena, as evidenced by the discovery of cremated human remains and wooden posts in the southeastern part of the site, the direction of the moon during the “major lunar standstill.” The research team will continue to investigate these mysteries, seeking to better understand how the ancients might have used these alignments and which celestial phenomena were most significant. As the period of major lunar standstill approaches between 2024 and 2025, studies will intensify, offering new opportunities to observe these ancient myste

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