Stonehenge Aotearoa – Sunday, 6 August 2017

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Stonehenge Aotearoa – Sunday, 6 August 2017

A Weekend of Reaching for the Stars

Friday 4 August 2017 at Space Place and Sunday 6 August 2017 at Stonehenge Aotearoa.

On an extremely chilly but very clear evening, 20 of us made our way to Space Place. This was formerly the Carter Observatory. The evening began with a walk through the interactive museum which was full of short films from the Big Bang to the stars we see on a clear night, demonstrations on gravity and shifting sands in the Antarctic exhibition.

We then went into the theatre which had big orange armchairs to sit in. These seats tilted back so the screen became the domed roof above us. We watched two very interesting films on the Big Bang and how we evolved and then another explaining our night sky. It was totally fascinating.

The last treat Space Place had in store for us was the chance to head upstairs to look at Saturn through a telescope. Upstairs was freezing but well worth it.

11 of us then departed to Petone and Kilim restaurant for a Turkish meal.

Sunday morning was equally cold and 15 of us drove over to the Wairarapa through the odd light shower.

We arrived at Stonehenge Aotearoa early enough to head down to the stones, stand in the middle and check out the echoes and then the sound began to resonate. The more noise we made, the more came back at us.

We were pretty cold by the time we got into the theatre for our lecture and film regarding stone circles and the significance they played for calculating time and weather. Richard was the most interesting person to listen to. I was amazed to learn the country with the largest number of stone circles was Gambia.

We then went back down through the sun gate to the henge and learnt more about the pillars and lintels forming windows and doorways and the heel stones which marked the equinox and solstice, the only 4 times a year that our day is actually 24 hours. We also learnt about ancient navigational skills and then found out most of us had different star signs to those listed in the newspapers and the reason why.

It was freezing but so interesting. We were so cold afterwards, instead of our picnic lunch and walk, we ended up in Wild Oats café in Caterton for a late lunch.

Two places which managed to link together to create a fascinating weekend.