Ceremony to mark summer solstice

A gathering will take place at the ‘Pen Henge’ standing stone array on Munson Mountain in Penticton

The days are about to start getting shorter following the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the summer on Tuesday, June 20.

To mark the event, a gathering will take place at the ‘Pen Henge’ standing stone array on Munson Mountain in Penticton that evening.

The public gathering is being organized by the Penticton meeting group of the Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Participants will gather at Munson Mountain at around 8:15 p.m. in anticipation of watching the shadow cast by the sun over the summer solstice stone extend gradually toward the central heel stone.

As determined from previous careful readings at Pen Henge, the local sunset will take place at precisely 8:50.2 p.m. that evening.

The actual time of the solstice this year will occur 34 minutes later at 9:24 p.m., and for those who would like to remain at the site, the moment will be marked by the ringing of Chris Purton’s Turkish cow bell.

The Pen Henge standing stone array is a project which was spearheaded by Purton, who is a retired radio astronomer at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at White Lake.

The installation, which is located at the top of Munson Mountain above the large Penticton sign on the east side of Okanagan Lake, consists of four stones that delineate the sunset points on the four cardinal dates of the year. Anchored by the Heel Stone, the Equinox Stone points to the Sun’s sunset point at both the Spring and Fall Equinoxes, while the other two stones mark the Winter and Summer Solstice setting points respectively.

Purton said though the time of sunset remains the same, the moment of solstice comes roughly six hours later each year, in concert with a leap-day every four years. In 2021, the time of solstice will once again be close to the time of sunset here, but with the difference that it will be 18 minutes before sunset, not 34 minutes after as it will be this year, because the precise length of the year is close to 365.2425 days instead of the 365.25 days that are customarily used.

Just Posted

Clouds Sunday, sunshine and heat Monday

Weather forecast for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen looks spectacular

Okanagan Ogopogo bathtub race fundraising efforts over the top

In five years the Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has raised over $120,000 for SOSM Foundation

Cyclist in distress prompts Hwy 3A closure

BC Air Ambulance transported the male, believed to be in his 50s, to a nearby hospital

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read