Some location information
A picture made at the festival (by Joe
Flood, (c) 2004) can be seen here
- Period of festival: 30th Aug. - 6th Sept.
2004 (summer time)
- Sunset information is thus:
- Distance to Granite Range horizon: ~ 15 km
- Assumed altitude horizon for below calculations: 4.7 degrees
- The diameter of New Newgrange is: 13.5 meter and length of
passage 4 m. The height of the passage at its end is around 1.80 m
- on Aug. 30th 2004: 19:06 (local time),
- on Sept. 6th, 2004: 18:54 (local time),
- Three pictures of sun light into the chamber can be seen here
(made by Evelyn McNamara and Richard Harris, (c) 2004):
The proposed ceremony is as follows:
- At an area within New Newgrange, is
it possible for (a limited amount of) artists to make art objects or
interactive theatrical/musical performances during
the moments sunlight gets into New Newgrange (or when clouds obscure
the light; during sunset).
- This can start from Aug. 30th until Sept. 6th,
2004 from 18:30
local time and can last say 30 minutes (per day) to sunset, so in total
- Perhaps something can be done in the ceremony with the setting of
the nearby presence of Jupiter; some 35 minutes later (Mars is perhaps
too close by the sun, so too much glare of the sun). Also it is full
moon on Aug 28th and Mercury sets before the sun does (but
not expected to be visible).
- When New Newgrange is charged with all this new art and sun
energy, it will give after sunset 18:54
on Sept. 6th 2004 its energy to
the not yet burning Burning Man. This can be done by a person walking
with a flame from New Newgrange towards the Burning Man (could we get
an athlete from Athens;-).
- When the Burning Man is well underway, New Newgrange will be
dismantled and transported in some way were it will be burned. New
Newgrange will give back the art
energy to the sky.
- It would be nice to videotape (or sequence of pictures) the
events. In all case have the camera on a tripod.
Set up and alignment
To be able to accomplish the above ceremony some things need to be
build in such a way that it can happen.
- The alignment New Newgrange - Granite Range mountains -
horizon and The Sun can' t be moved; the location of New Newgrange
roofbox needs to be determined in advance for being able to
realize the above proposed ceremony.
- New Newgrange will have an entrance and a roofbox on sunset
side. The entrance of New Newgrange can be
closed up during
- The middle of New Newgrange will have the artist workshop
- The size of the light tunnel in
the roofbox will be determined by the altitude of
the setting sun and the 30 minutes the light needs to be in New
- The light tunnel must be positioned in such a way that it is
that the sun can pass from 30 minutes before sunset until sunset for
dates Aug. 30th until Sept. 6th 2004.
- To accomplish the above the following ideas can be handy to
utilize during building:
- The location where New Newgrange will stand, to check the
and latitude (using GPS).
- If possible
determine the altitude of the horizon in sunset
direction with clinometer or by using a stretched hand and count the
number of fingers between water level and horizon. For me (stretched
65.5 cm and finger thickness: 1.75 cm) this is around 1.5 degrees
One can also record the time that the last sun light is visible, when
it sets behind the Granite Range.
- A compass can be handy to determine the general directions of
Be aware that you have no metal on you (even glasses or wire in hats
can cause problems) and/or metal tools and/or buildings/fences/etc.!
that the compass gives the magnetic/compass
azimuth, not the true azimuth.
The difference is
15.5 degrees East, meaning that the true
azimuth = magnetic azimuth + 15.5 degrees.
Please check for instance your true north with other people on site,
compass readings are always somewhat difficult! It is important to get
- Passage direction:
The passage direction must be around 273.75 degrees, so the magnetic/compass reading should be
around 258.25 degrees.
The sun is at this position on the following dates at
times (at these
dates/times the walls of the passage should not cast shadows):
that sun is at 273.75 degrees
- Width of the entrance is 1.5 m and thus the outside
construction size of the roofbox is 150 * 150 * 25 cm
(length*width*height). Inside the roofbox a light tunnel is made:
- The light
tunnel (which is on the inside painted with
non-reflecting black) is 1 m long and 10.5 * 9 cm (width*height or 12
by 10 degrees). If one want an easier alignment, just more the 10.5
something like 21 cm, this will enable the option not to have to align
the light tunnel in the sun's direction so accurately.
- The bottom side of this light
tunnel has an angle comparable to the altitude of the horizon (use a
small piece of wood to align it with the horizon altitude).
direction of the light tunnel is in such a way that the actual sunset
just gets thought it on Aug. 29th, 2004. To be able to
accommodate this fine tuning, it would be handy that one end of the
light tunnel can turn around a pivot.
- Remember that this light tunnel is quite small in width and
height and the construction
of roofbox and light tunnel must thus be quiet sturdy!
- The rest of
the building must be light tight to have a good experience.
- The view through the roofbox from inside on Sept. 2nd,
2004 should be (also Mars and Jupiter will be faintly visible in
the sky nearby! [they won't cast a shadow though inside the building]):
- Ideas on the location of the light patch
in the middle of the building:
- The area where light patch will be (during a one day 30
sunset) is around 55*55 cm
and centered around the middle of the light tunnel on Sept. 2nd,
- The light patch will move in a left-upwards path over 30
minutes from some 105 cm
bottom of the light channel, so is around 75 cm from ground level.
- The light patch will come at the end of the sunset period
some 50 cm below the
bottom of the light channel, so is around 1.50 cm from ground level.
- During the whole period the light patch can wander over an
area of 70*55 cm (width*height)
- Would there be Internet connectivity in Black Rock
Desert (to be able to communicate with a designated person with regard
to daily actual shadow casting, sunrise conditions, design on the spot,
arising issues, support during build, etc.)?
- The above will allow to determine the position and size of the
Tools handy to have
A few tools would be handy to have at the location (in order of
- a compass, important see this remark on deviation of magnetic/compass
azimuth from true azimuth.
- an internet connection
- a GPS
- a digital camera/video camera with tripod
- a clinometer (altitude angle meter)
The above will help me to provide the final design the alignment
(without a hurry, because
that will only produce errors which are difficult to rectify).
It is like 5000 years ago; one needs to plan this, otherwise it won't
work. We have less than three weeks to complete this at a remote
(Black Rock City) from a remote location (Ireland), while 5000 years
ago they certainly would have done it over a few years and being at the
If the above is successful; I think it is worth a good TV
documentary/coverage (and perhaps it is possible to get TV time
afterwards; like the series about rebuilding the pyramids;-).