EUMETSAT captures Winter Solstice 2020


While cloud cover meant that the sun did not make an appearance at Newgrange this morning for the 2020 Winter Solstice, the EUMETSAT Second Generation satellite did capture the view from space.

Online viewers logged into an OPW livestream from the County Meath tomb chamber were hoping to view the phenomenon of the sunrise aligning with the roof box into the passage, but they were left disappointed.

The Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurred at 10.03am today (December 21), when the sun shone directly over the tropic of Capricorn. 

At sunrise on the shortest day of the year, for 17 minutes, direct sunlight can enter the Newgrange monument, not through the doorway, but through the specially contrived small opening above the entrance known as the ‘roof box’, to illuminate the Chamber.

The below video features an EUMETSAT RGB Natural Colour satellite view of the Winter Solstice.