Stonehenge to MIThenge: A Week of Success Excellence & Curiosity

Twice a year, MIT is host to its own solar phenomenon: MIThenge. This year on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11, the sunset aligned perfectly with the Infinite Corridor, illuminating the entire length of the 200-meter long hallway. Weather permitting, the evening sun can get in your eyes when you’re standing in Building 8—after it travels through 7, 3, 10, and 4. 

MIThenge brings members of the Institute community together. Building on it as a prompt, this year MindHandHeart organized a week-long series of activities designed to celebrate MIT’s history, architecture, and community. From a Stonehenge-inspired moment, to a lecture about the technical expertise that made it happen, to a scaled map of the solar system, the events drew enthusiastic participation from the MIT community.

The week’s events included:

  • Wednesday, November 8: “From Stonehenge to MIThenge: Revealing our Place in the Universe through Cosmic Alignments,” a lecture connecting the MIT Main Group to the ancient monument from which it takes its name. EAPS professor Richard P. Binzel leads attendees through a blend of history and science, explaining how cosmic alignments have played a role in shaping our understanding of our place in the universe. 

    MIThenge Lecture


  • Thursday, November 9: The following day, Binzel hosted walking tours of the Infinite Solar System. For many years in the fall semester, Binzel taught an introductory class on the solar system in which he asked students to plot out the planets along the Infinite Corridor’s 200-meter length, “which equates to one thirty-billionth the length of the solar system,” as noted by in MIT News in 2018. During his tour of the now-permanent installation on the third floor of the Infinite, Binzel led participants from one planet to another, sharing insights on features of each celestial body. These tours provided a look into the immense scale of our solar system and conveyed the many contributions of MIT scientists and engineers to better understanding our neighbors in the solar system. 
MIThenge tour


  • Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11: Optimal weather conditions aligned with the sun’s path on both days, making for an epic MIThenge in 2023. The sun illuminated the entire third-floor hallway of the Infinite at sunset, offering observers a captivating spectacle. MindHandHeart hosted receptions immediately afterwards to give those observing MIThenge an opportunity to meet each other and hear more from Binzel about the local alignment and our broader solar system. 
MIThenge reception


These events are part of an ongoing effort by MindHandHeart to celebrate a diverse range of activities that highlight MIT Values.