Winter Solstice Sunrise and Sunset Gatherings at the UMass Sunwheel

Event Details

December 21, 2017


UMass Amherst Campus

Handicap access available
Donations to help with the cost of the additional sitework are appreciated..

The public is invited to witness the passing of the seasons by joining a UMass astronomer to watch the Sun rise and set over the tall standing stones in the UMass Sunwheel for the Winter Solstice.

Visitors for the sunrise viewing should arrive at 7:00 a.m., and visitors for the sunset viewing should arrive at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

For those interested in learning about the sky, there will be a presentation which will include the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, the cause of the seasons and phases of the Moon, the story of building the Sunwheel, and discussion of other calendar sites around the world, including Stonehenge & Callanish. Bring your questions, your curiosity, and be prepared for freezing temperatures including waterproof footwear. The gatherings typically last 1 hour, and are held in all weather except rain or blizzards.


The UMass Amherst Sunwheel is located south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, just off Rocky Hill Road (Amity St.) about one-quarter mile south of University Drive.

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