Astronomy Festival

Poster for the Astronomy Festival 2019
This is the poster for the 4th Annual Astronomy Festival.

Poster courtesy of NPS. Artwork by Rose B. Simpson.

(Scroll to the bottom of page to see festival schedule)

Celebrate Astronomy With Us

Join us for the 4th Annual Astronomy Festival on September 20-23. Chaco Culture National Historical Park will celebrate the history of astronomy in the canyon with the fourth annual Astronomy Festival!


During the festival, visitors will have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers and attend programs on Fajada Butte, the Piedra del Sol petroglyph site, Pueblo Bonito and Casa Rinconada.

Monday, September 23. will start off with a sunrise program for the Autumnal Equinox. Gates will open at 6:15 am and the first 100 visitors will be able to enter.

The Poster

Talented artist Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Peublo) created this year's poster.
She is a mixed-media artist whose work has been exhibited in many museums including the Heard Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian, Smthsonian.
 

Schedule for Astronomy Festival 2019

Friday, September 20

2 pm "Talk: Water of Chaco - Above and Below" - Many visitors look at Chaco's sandy grounds and canyon walls and wonder, "Where is all the water?" A scientist who studies water in Chaco will talk about the wash, tinajas, the groundwater table, and nearby springs. She'll also discuss how the Chacoans used the water available then and how it is being used today.

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: Reach for the Stars" - Reach for the stars with a variety of activities certain to educate and entertain the young and young at heart about astronomy and its role in Chaco Culture. Great family fun! Come anytime between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Fun with solar telescopes: They say not to look at the sun, but you can with the right equipment. Check the sun out with our solar telescopes.
  • 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. Look to the stars to create your own constellation.
  • 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.
  • And much, much more ....

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 - Autumnal Equinox at Casa Rinconada

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 autumnal equinox sunrise.

Last updated: September 16, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 220
Nageezi, NM 87037

Phone:

(505) 786-7014

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