AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Residents of western Massachusetts are being invited to mark the winter solstice outdoors by gathering around the UMass-Amherst sunwheel.
The university has invited the public to assemble around the Stonehenge-like outdoor circle, whose standing stones line up with the locations on the horizon of the rising and setting sun at the times of the solstices and equinoxes.
The winter solstice marks the date when nights are longest and days are shortest in the Northern Hemisphere and the sun rises and sets at its most southerly location along the horizon.
Gatherings will be held at 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 21. UMass astronomers, who built the sunwheel, say the events will be canceled in the event of heavy rain or snow.
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