Scrolling Headlines:

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Sunwheel tells of the coming of autumnal equinox

BTequinoxMost college students rely on cell phones, watches, laptops or even wall calendars to keep track of the changing days and seasons, but one University of Massachusetts professor is inviting students and others from the local community to learn about one of humankind’s oldest time-telling devices – the sunwheel.

Judith Young, a UMass astronomy professor, will hold the final of four informational viewings of the autumnal equinox at sunset today at 6 p.m. Previous gatherings were held at sunrise and sunset beginning on Tuesday.

The sunwheel may pale in comparison to the interactivity offered today by such programs as Google Calendar, but sunwheels have been a valuable resource for cultures dating back to 4,800 B.C. One of the most well-known examples is Stonehenge in England.

The University has hosted such gatherings for 12 years, and will celebrate 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy, according to the official website for the UMass Sunwheel, www.umass.edu/sunwheel.

A sunwheel is an outdoor stone circle. The standing stones line up with the locations on the horizon of the rising and setting sun at the times of the solstices and equinoxes.

For participants interested in learning about the sky, Young will discuss the significance of the equinoxes and solstices, the cause of the seasons and phases of the moon, and the story behind building the 130-foot diameter UMass Sunwheel, said a press release for the eventShe will also discuss other calendar sites around the world, including the ancient astronomical observatories at Stonehenge and Callanish in Scotland. In addition, there will be an explanation of the moon’s 18.6-year cycle, also called the major lunar standstill, the release said.

“Bring your questions, your curiosity, and be prepared for cool temperatures when the sun is down,” added the release.

Wearing waterproof footwear and insect repellent is also suggested. Gathering will last for about one hour, and a $3 suggested donation will help with the cost of additional stonework and future programs planned for the UMass Sunwheel. T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for purchase. In the event of rain, the gathering will be cancelled.

The UMass Sunwheel is part of The Sunwheel Project, which involved the construction of sunwheels around the world, starting at UMass in 1997.

Gatherings will also be held for the winter solstice on Dec. 21 and 22 at sunrise, or around 7 a.m., and sunset, around 3:30 p.m.

The UMass Sunwheel is located south of Alumni Stadium, just off Rocky Hill Road. It can be reached from the center of Amherst, following Amity Street to the west. After crossing University Drive at the light, continue on Rocky Hill Rd. for about 1/4 mile, and make your first right onto Stadium Drive.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mrochele@dailycollegian.com.

Leave A Comment