Solar Calendar - Wichita, Kansas
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Max and 99
N 37° 41.878 W 097° 20.790
14S E 645771 N 4173591
Quick Description: A miniature Stonehenge at Central Riverside Park is an outstanding demonstration of a solar calendar.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 12/28/2020 12:11:25 PM
Waymark Code: WM13K0E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 3

Long Description:
Summer Solstice/ Spring/Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice are all visually demonstrated at this fascinating solar calendar in Central Riverside Park. Visitors to the park can watch the beam of sunlight move across the courtyard to pre-set stones such as Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice. If you time your visit right, you can watch the sunlight move and land right on one of the solstice gems.

Text on marker:

As a place of reflection, study and celebration, these standing stones structure a technologically accurate astronomical observatory. It tracks the sun's location by aligning the stones at sunset, sunrise and at local noon on the first day of each of the four seasons.

The small ground stones and their medallions mark the sun's shadow, falling from the southernmost standing stone, and a beam of light upon the center of the medallions from an eye atop the stone when the sun is at it's apex, local noon, on the first day of each season. The medallions note the specific date to be observed at local noon. If you sit on the benches and follow the line of flagstones to the west in the evening, you may watch the sunset directly over the other standing stones - setting to the south on the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) and furthest in the north on the summer solstice (the longest day of the year). Conversely, the sun rises between the two bench stones from summer through winter.

This "Solar Calendar" honors many traditions from around the world, a universal accomplishment that many cultures share. It's practical application set down migrational, planting and harvesting cycles for many developing agricultural societies. Order in nature was first observed over long periods of days by tracking the sun's movements, giving security and understanding to investigating minds that first sought to know our place in the universe. It begins the journey of astronomical wonder which now reaches far beyond our nearest star.
Scientific Principle(s) being demonstrated:
Solar Calendar: the "eye" of the structure focuses the sunlight and helps visitors see the winter and summer solstice, and the months between.


Briefly explain if the experiment was effective for you. Could it have been better?:
It was fantastic! We are so glad that we stuck around long enough to watch the sunlight shift, eventually ending smack on the winter solstice gem (winter solstice was six days before our visit).


When is the apparatus/experiment available to the public:
All the time, but only useful during daylight hours. Sunrise, noon, and sunset are good times to view the science lesson.


Visit Instructions:
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The Snowdog visited Solar Calendar - Wichita, Kansas 7/15/2021 The Snowdog visited it