image credit: M. B. Schwenn, (image not available elsewhere on web), larger image
Ancient Observatories: Chaco Canyon
This photograph shows the famous Sun Dagger at the Chaco Canyon National Monument in New Mexico, USA, a product of the Pueblo culture around the end of the first millennium A.D.
-- The dagger passed through the center of the spiral at the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
-- Sadly, in 1989 one of the huge rock slabs that formed these shadows changed its position, possibly due to the effects of visitor activity at the site, so the Sun Dagger is a thing of the past.
-- To find out more, visit Ancient Observatories: Chaco Canyon , The Solstice Project, and the National Park Service's Chaco Culture.
[This feature was updated on 3/26/09.]
Login to Comment on this Item
Making a Sun Clock
Visit the Exploratorium's Making a Sun Clock to find out how to build a sun clock, and how it works.