A friend just sent me this, and I thought it was cool so I am passing it on:
The winter season in the Orkney Islands is highlighted this month by the mysterious play of sunlight down the 6-meter-long entrance passage of Maes Howe, a magnificent prehistoric burial mound.
Maes Howe burial chamber is located on Orkney mainland, west of Kirkwall. The tomb is considered to be one of the greatest architectural achievements of prehistoric Scotland. When the chamber was built, around 5000 years ago, the entrance was aligned so that the afternoon sun, during the weeks either side of the winter solstice, would shine into the darkened tomb and light up the interior. The phenomenon can be difficult to experience – the weather and distance are both barriers, but interested people can now use the internet to view it.
Historic Scotland, the government agency that cares for Maes Howe, has allowed a web camera to be installed and operated by local photographer Charles Tait. When weather permits, the movement of the sunshine across the chamber can be tracked live at the website
This year’s winter solstice falls on December 22nd. The camera is already operating at Maes Howe, allowing people throughout the world to observe the event.
For some reason this Mid-winter "suncatcher" grabs me even more than Stonehenge where the Mid-summer solistice is captured. I hope that the 22nd. of December is sunny!