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Established 16/3/2000

Stone Age astronomy in Ireland

Solstice standing stone

This very special standing stone at Baltray is positioned so that it points to an island out at sea. It is at this point on Winter Solstice that the sun rises, a truly amazing ancient achievement. We have also witnessed the Moonrise at the same place, and the large stone also marks Summer Solstice sunset. This discovery was made in Dec. 1999.

Baltray moonrise
Site Q

Henge solstice alignment

This huge embanked enclosure, also called a henge, is located near the ancient mound of Dowth and has two gaps aligned in such a way that the Summer Solstice sunrise and Winter Solstice sunset are both marked by the site. This discovery was made by Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore on June 23rd 2000.

The Cygnus Enigma

The Cygnus Enigma examines the relationship between the 'star temples' of Newgrange and Fourknocks, the Whooper Swan which winters at Newgrange, the constellations and various myths, and concludes that there was an astronomical masterplan created in ancient times which shows its builders knew about precession.


Double alignment

The smaller of the standing stones at Barnaveddoge is very special because it is aligned to sunrise and sunset on the Summer Solsice and the Winter Solstice. The larger stone is the biggest in Co. Louth. This discovery was made by Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore in June 2000.

Ancient stellar symbols

These ancient stellar symbols at Dowth were carved 5,000 years ago at this mythical 'Place of Darkness'. Here we interpret the symbols based on astronomy and mythology associated with the site and find a connection with Taurus, the Pleiades, and Spring Equinox.

Suns at Dowth
Lunar stone

Lunar calculations

Ancient carvings at Knowth show that the neolithic people had an understanding of the great cycle of the Moon, known as the Metonic Cycle. Many of the stones at Knowth contain lunar and solar symbolism, and the whole site seems to have been astronomical in nature.

Orion's Belt stars?

5,000-year old carvings on a kerbstone at Newgrange may represent the belt stars of the constellation Orion, and there may have been a unique co-incidental alignment of the Newgrange passage and Sirius.

Orion's Belt?
Equinox at Knowth

Equinox at Knowth

Observations made by Mythical Ireland at Knowth's western passage at Autumn Equinox, September 22, 2000, reveal an interesting surprise - that it may not point exactly towards equinox sunset. Measurements made by a 3-man team show the passage is not oriented due west, but some 7 or more degrees off. Anthony Murphy gained exclusive access for the equinox, and captured the sunlight as it penetrated part of the passage. But the sunlight does not penetrate the full passage until a week or so after equinox.

Ancient star map?

This amazing carving, over 5,000 years old, is etched into the ceiling stone of the central recess of Cairn T at Loughcrew, famous for its equinox sun alignment. Could this stone be one of the earliest drawings of the heavens made in Europe? Also other great astronomical carvings on other stones at Loughcrew.

Orion's Belt? - for all your astronomy links

All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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