Stonehenge, a prehistoric stone monument in southern England, has strangely beautiful shapes and a rough symmetry. Above all, it is a mystery that has made Stonehenge an attraction and held fascination for centuries. Our Stonehenge show starts with the ideas of Gerald Hawkins, a young astronomer, who boasted in 1963 that he had "decoded" Stonehenge, and that it was an astronomical observatory and an eclipse calculator. The debate over the more speculative of Hawkins' claims has still not ended, but his basic ideas have convinced most scholars that astronomy did indeed play a more important role in the design of Stonehenge than had been suspected, and has helped to stimulate a whole generation of investigators known as "archaeoastronomers." This planetarium program, designed for public audiences and for students in grades 4 and above, aims to communicate important aspects of how science works and how new ideas are invented, explored, refined, and tested at ancient structures around the world. The parts of the Stonehenge show are:
Associated classroom activities are:
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