Random site 1


NM 8755 0085
An isolated place in a remote location that had a largely hilly skyline.  It is about 4.5km. NE of Kilmartin.

Three possible chance alignments were found, but each of which had one or more factors mitigating against their suitability.  The first possible chance alignment is for the rising moon at the major standstill but misses a possible foresight by 5' arc.  The second and third possible chance alignments are both for the rising moon at the minor standstill.   These are discussed in detail.  In the interests of absolute fairness the first is accepted although there would have been very significant difficulties in its use.

On paper this might look convincing, but would it in practice be useable?

The Minor Standstill would be awkward to observe since the moon is not in a unique position.  In the north, the least difficult minor standstill moon to observe would be the minimum declination. i.e. for -Δ, not +Δ as here; (or the opposite for the southern minor moon as found at #12 Sluggan and #18 Glennan: i.e. preferably +Δ in the south).  However, as stated above although there would have been very considerable difficulties in use, in the interests of absolute fairness it is accepted as a chance alignment.

(References Thom & Thom 1980 (JHA xi) p S78 ; A.S.Thom 1981, BAR 88, p 17 )



See References above + Comments there.     In the south at the minor standstill, -Δ would almost certainly be avoided in favour of the 'easier' but still difficult +Δ.  Furthermore there would be greater difficulties in the use of this foresight than the previous one - the moon would not be visible until after the event and in any case 'misses' by 3' arc.