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    Re: Emailing: A-meteor-storm-over-Stone-008.jpg
    From: Patrick Goold
    Date: 2011 Feb 4, 12:10 -0500
    Dear George,
    Your question piqued my interest.  I assume we are looking at the real Stonehenge here and I am guessing that the structure at stage center is the Sarsen circle stones 1,2, 29, and 30 with the lintels 101, 102 and 130.  If that is correct, then we are, I think, looking SW.  I put Stonehenge's lat/long in Stellarium, set the date for last June and speeded up the passage of stars to watch the arc.  If the stars in your photo are moving left to right (I can't really tell that), then their course appears to my untrained eye to be very similar to the course described by the Stellarium stars.  I can't identify any constellations in your photo.

    When I went looking on the internet for images of Stonehenge at night, I did find several that were obviously cooked, including one that boasted an astonishing background of stars that reminded me of some of the photos taken by the Hubble.  

    I hope you will let the list know what you discover.

    Best regards,

    On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM, George Huxtable <george@hux.me.uk> wrote:
    On 1 Feb, the following item appeared in the printed version of theGuardian
     (The best places to see stars in Britain, 1 February, page 3, G2).
    Itappeared on the online version the previous day, at-


    In the printed version of the paper, the picture was captioned "A meteor
    storm over Stonehenge", which was obviously incorrect. The printed version
    was a bit different from that shown in this online version, in that the
    comet had been cropped off it.

    Yesterday, the following correction appeared, in-
    as follows-
    • A photograph used to illustrate an article about stargazing was wrongly
    captioned as showing "a meteor storm over Stonehenge". In fact it was a
    photograph of stars taken with a long exposure which, due to the Earth's
    rotation, produces the effect of trails (The best places to see stars in
    Britain, 1 February, page 3, G2).


    Indeed, that wasn't all that was wrong. The area around Stonehenge does not
    have particularly dark skies, and indeed a main road runs right past the
    Heel Stone, so it is hardly a good place for "watching stars". But, more
    particularly, the star background looks to me to be quite wrong, for
    somewhere as far North as Stonehenge, at 51º N. The star pattern should
    then be rotating about the South Celestial pole, a point that lies 51º
    below the horizon. It looks to me as though the star background shown in
    that picture is centred much closer than that to the horizon, perhaps only
    25º or so below it, indicating that it was taken from much nearer to the
    tropics. Am I right?

    To be sure, I need to identify that pattern of stars, and whether it is
    indeed that of the Southern stars, or the Northern. I'm not familiar enough
    with the stars to identify what part of the sphere is being shown here
    (with the comet behind it), but I'm sure it will be instantly recognisable
    to some Navlist members. All that's needed is to give a name to one or two
    of the stars in the picture, and the rest will follow.

    It seems pretty clear, to me, that this is a completely-bogus composite
    agency picture, with the stars, and independently the comet (which seems to
    show little streaking) superimposed on to the picture of Stonehenge. As it
    is against stated Guardian policy to publish such pictures, I am collecting
    evidence to show the error of their ways.


    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

    Dr. Patrick Goold
    Department of Philosophy
    Virginia Wesleyan College
    Norfolk, VA 23502
    757 455 3357

    Charles Olson: "Love the World -- and stay inside it."

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