Winter blot – first possible day

This sun line for the winter blot differs from other presented sunlines in two ways:

  1. It consists of three standing stones and the central mound: (mound) – (stone 1) – (stone 2) – (stone 3).
  2. Instead of watching a shadow you look at the sun when it sets into the mound.

In the first part of the animation it is shown how the mound and the three stones are positioned relative to each other. In the second part the sun appears in its path before it is hidden behind two standing stones. At the time of sunset the uppermost part of the solar disk is visible in the vertical opening formed by the standing stones. See the animation:

It is clear from the animation that the sun is not visible in the opening between the stones on 2 or 3rd January. First on January 4, one can see a small portion of the solar disk. It is two days late according to the assumption about the time for the winter blot. The deviation in height is -0.15°, which is well within the set criterion of maximum ±0.25°.

The result is based on the direction formed by the three stones when the opening between the stone 2 and 3 are almost entirely closed. In the animation, I have used a photo where the opening is made wider only for the reason that all three stones shall be visible to the viewer. In this way it makes it easier to understand how the sunline is built.

Visibility today

Probably it is possible to see the sunset in the mound on January 8, 2015. However, it is not clear that the sun is high enough on this day. The following day, on January 9, it is quite certain that the sun will appear in the opening between the stones. Note that the sun’s path in winter is about 0.2º higher today than in the Late Iron Age. This means that the number of days after the solstice before the sun is visible in the opening differs slightly compared to the Late Iron Age.