Ancient skies alight. Chaco canyon's spectacular annular eclipse

17.10.2023 posted by Admin

Chaco canyon's ancient eclipse gathering

Eclipse enthusiasts and experts in ancient astronomy gathered at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to witness a rare event – an annular solar eclipse visible from the site famous for its 'Rock of the Sun' petroglyph.

Chaco Canyon, located in New Mexico, is a place where time unfolds in remarkable ways. Although solar eclipses operate on cycles that far surpass a single human lifespan, there are moments when they bridge the gaps of deep history.

One of these extraordinary moments occurred on the morning of Saturday, October 14, precisely at 10:34 a.m. MDT. For 4 minutes and 48 seconds, a captivating "ring of fire" graced the skies above Chaco Culture National Park, adding a celestial spectacle to the region's rich cultural heritage.

This unique astronomical display took place against the backdrop of the ancient kivas and great houses of the Puebloan people. Between AD 850 and 1250, Chaco Canyon was a pivotal center for these ancient communities, marked by its intricate solstice, equinox, and lunar cycle indicators. The canyon holds some of the most ancient solar observation points known to humanity.

This age-old tradition of sky-watching persists to this day. As the dawn broke on October 14, a line of red taillights illuminated the remote dirt road leading to the canyon. With a mere 150 parking spots available within the canyon, the race was on to reach one of its archaeological sites by 9:12 a.m., ensuring a front-row seat to the prolonged "ring of fire" eclipse.
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