At Missouri S&T

Modern Day Stonehenge

  • The Stonehenge in Rolla, a partial reconstruction of the ancient Stonehenge,  was dedicated on June 20, 1984 (summer solstice), at the site of the northwest edge of campus (14th Street and Bishop Avenue).
  • The Rolla replica of Stonehenge incorporates many of the features of the original and includes two capabilities that the original did not possess.
  • It features a 50-foot-in-diameter ring of 29 and 1/2 sarsen stones around a horseshoe of five trilithons through which various sightings of sunrise and sunset can be made. The sarsen stones are 1 and 1/2 feet high, while each of the trilithons measures 13 and 1/4 feet from the ground to the top of the lintel. There also are a heel stone, four compass markers and low-level lighting for night use.
  • On the summer solstice, sunrise is located between the inner faces of the southwest trilithon and above the heel stone 145 feet to the northeast, while sunset is visible through the inner faces of the Northwest trilithon. On the winter solstice, sunrise is located between the inner faces of the southeast trilithon and sunset is visible between the inner faces of the southwest trilithon.
  • The spring and autumnal equinox sunrises can be observed by standing over the Stonehenge marker and sighting above the notch on the top of the east compass stone and the true position of the sunsets can be observed by sighting above the notch on top of the west compass stone.
  • The south-facing trilithon is provided with an aperture for an analemma. During the year, the image of the noon sun shining through this opening describes a figure "8" on the horizontal and vertical stones at the base of the trilithon. At noon each day, the analemma can be used to determine the date from the location of the sun's image on the figure "8", which has been carved into the stone.
  • The north-facing trilithon is equipped with a Polaris window through which the North Star can be viewed. This feature and the analemma were not part of the original Stonehenge and were added so that visitors can make use of Stonehenge at S&T throughout the day. Sun/moon rise and set tables for this Stonehenge model are posted monthly at the site.
  • A marker bearing the inscription "Missouri S&T-Stonehenge" has been placed in the center of the monument. This marker identifies the spot as an official triangulation point in the National Geodetic Survey's North American Triangulation Network. (Such points are used for mapping and control purposes.)
  • Approximately 160 tons of granite were used in the monument. The rock was cut to the proper dimensions by Missouri S&T's Waterjet equipment. This equipment used two waterjets cutting at a pressure of 15,000 pounds per square inch traversing the surface just like a conventional saw. The cutter moved at a speed of about 10 feet per minute and cut between one-quarter and one-half inch on each path.
  • In addition to its astronomical functions, Stonehenge at S&T serves as a monument to man's past achievements through its blending of cultural and scientific influences. Just as the ancient site stands as a tribute to the ingenuity and talent of ancient engineers and cultures, so the campus site serves as a reminder of man's technical and humanistic potential and the importance of the history of science and technology in understanding that potential.
  • Every year the National Society of Professional Engineers makes up to 10 awards for outstanding engineering accomplishment. These awards are given for completed projects and typically go for such items as the space telescope. In 1984 the Missouri University of Science and Technology received one of these 10 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Awards for its Stonehenge model.
Stonehenge at Missouri S&T
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