Chaco Culture National Historical Park will be hosting its fourth Astronomy Festival, September 20-23, 2019. Visit Chaco and carry on the ancient traditions of watching the skies and observe the Autumnal Equinox! September 22 is Public Lands Day, park entrance is free.
The Chaco Culture N.H.P Astronomy Festival will kick off on September 20, 2019 and will feature night sky viewing and various activities and presentations relating to Chaco’s connections to our night skies. The fesitval concludes Monday, September 23rd with a sunrise program for the Fall Equinox.
Astronomy Festival 2019 Schedule
Friday, September 20
- 2 pm - Talk: Spring Fever in Chaco Canyon - Learn about one scientist's journey through a harsh and unforgiving environment to find and document the springs of Chaco Canyon.
- 4 pm - Talk: Pathway of Stars - Hopi geodeticist Phillip Tuwaletstiwa and his wife and artist Judy Tuwaletstiwa will illuminate the significance of astronomy to Chaco Canyon and to the pueblo people.
- 8 pm - Night Program: Leading into the Night Sky - View the night sky through powerful telescopes while mingling with expert astronomers.
Saturday, September 21
- 10 am - Tour: The Center of it All- Meet at "Center Place" in Chaco Canyon to look at petroglyphs and the monumental structures called Great Houses that defined this advanced civilization.
- 1 pm - 4 pm - Interactive Activities
- Fun with solar telescopes
- Make color-changing bracelets: Make bracelets with beads that change color by reacting to the UV in sunlight.
- A hundred stars, a hundred stories: Learn about the power of constellatations
- Chaco's most famous petroglyph: View a model of the spiral petroglyph called the Sun Dagger. The ancestral pueblo people leaned three large stone slabs against the cliff atop Fajada Butte to channel light and shadow markings onto two spiral petroglyphs on the cliff wall. The sunlight aligns with different points on the petroglyph to mark the solstices and equinoxes.
- Be an ancestral pueblo engineer: Build a model of Pueblo Bonito so that it align with the summer solstice.
- 2 pm "Tour: The Greatest Kiva"- Tour one of the largest known Great Kivas in the world - Casa Rinconada and learn why this large ceremonial room was so important to Chaco culture.
- 8 pm "Night Program: Leading into the Night Sky" - View the night sky through powerful telescopes while mingling with expert astronomers.
Sunday, September 22
- 10 am - Tour: The Center of it All - Meet at "Center Place" in Chaco Canyon to look at petroglyphs and the monumental structures called Great Houses that defined this advanced civilization.
- 2 pm - Tour: The Greatest Kiva-Tour one of the largest known Great Kivas in the world - Casa Rinconada.
- 7 pm - Campfire Program: Aligning spirits and buildings - Warm yourself by a crackling campfire as you learn how the building engineers of 1000 years ago aligned their structures to capture the fall equinox.
Monday, September 23
- 6:15 am -Sunrise Program-Gates will open to the first 100 visitors to observe the alignment of the Great Kiva called Casa Rinconada with the autumn equinox sunrise.
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