Viking Tech: Sunstones

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Viking Tech: Sunstones - Norhalla.com

Viking Tech: Sunstones

Viking culture embraces science and technology.

"A report released today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A lays out the possible inner workings of the Vikings’ legendary sólarsteinn, which was said to reveal the true bearing of a hidden sun, even on overcast days and during long summer twilights in the northerly latitudes. Researchers long speculated that the sunstone might have been a transparent type of calcite, common in Iceland, that has optical properties akin to linearly polarizing filters for a camera." - Discovery News

Viking Tech: Sunstones - Norhalla.com

"A breakthrough in the mystery came in the 2000s when scientists excavated wreckage from the Alderney - Live Science, an English warship that sank at the end of the 16th century. As they rummaged through the wreck, divers discovered a thick crystal stone, the size and shape of a cigarette pack. Lying a mere three feet away from navigation dividers, researchers suspected sailors kept the crystal with other navigational tools." - Modern Notion

Viking Tech: Sunstones - Norhalla.com

"The principle behind the sunstone relies on its unusual property of creating a double refraction of sunlight, even when it is obscured by cloud or fog of the sort that would have been commonplace for the Vikings. By rotating the crystal against the human eye until the darkness of the two shadows were equal, the sun’s position can pinpointed with remarkable accuracy, according to the researchers." - The Independent

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