Sometimes, the Engineering Mind wanders. The body, having little choice in the matter, follows. All of us who work at a computer know that when you are “heads down” most of the day, looking up can be a revelation. You notice things. We here at the EngineerZone office in Wilmington, Massachusetts recently heard this story from one of our colleagues, an engineer who wandered, looked up and discovered:

Stata-Henge picture

Sometime mid to late October, around the 18th to the 21st, between 4:30 and 5:30 in the evening, the sun will set beyond the horizon directly out the lobby window of building 1. Just before it dips below the horizon, for a minute or two, the sunlight will actually shine directly down the long corridor towards the middle of the building and shine on the far wall. I’m not sure if that was the intention when the building was put up, but the effect is quite interesting.

He shared his discovery with several of his colleagues, one of whom gave the phenomenon a name: Statahenge, an homage to the founder of our company, Ray Stata and to the world-famous circle of rocks in southern England that can predict some celestial phenomenon. That the alignment of sun and hallway just happens to occur in the building named for Mr. Stata makes the name even more appropriate.

It doesn’t predict eclipses, seasons, or the phases of the moon like its namesake in England, but I’m pretty sure after this blog gets posted we will have a crowd at Statahenge this October…

  • FormerMember

    Hi Dave,
    Nice article. Perhaps another title might be Statagrange as the Irish Newgrange World Heritage site predates Stonehenge. Newgrange is aligned with the rising sun of the winter solstice so that a shaft of light only directly enters the central chamber once a year. Given the typically cloudly weather Ireland enjoys in late December, lining this up probably proved time consuming for the builders back over 5,000years ago!
    Best Regards

  • Dave:

    This needs to happen on the equinox in March/September for it to be a real "Henge". A true east west alignment like the street grid in Manhattan makes for a true Henge effect: Manhattanhenge with Neil deGrasse Tyson ( )