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Sunrise at Stonehenge

Sunrise at Stonehenge

R100/0117

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Credit

JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sunrise at Stonehenge. This megalithic stone circle is on Salisbury Plain near Amesbury in Wiltshire, England. The alignment of the stones is thought to have been used to make predictions about certain astronomical events such as solstices and lunar and solar eclipses. For instance, on the longest day of the year (the summer solstice) an observer at the centre of the circle sees the sun rise directly over a distant pillar called the heel stone. Construction of this prehistoric monument began over 5000 years ago. The largest stones weigh over 40 tonnes and stand nearly 7 metres high. Stonehenge is a United Nations World Heritage Site.

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