Talon News - Good Local News



December 8, 2017

Aztec Ruins National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historical Park will once again be hosting programs in honor of the winter solstice. Both events will allow visitors to view sunrise and sunset alignments at Ancestral Puebloan Great Houses.

Aztec’s events will take place on December 20 and 21. To view this sunset event, visitors must arrive at the visitor center by 4:30pm to join the rangers and volunteers who will be escorting visitors to the Aztec West great house alignment location. Assuming that the western skies are clear, visitors will be able to observe the alignment of the north wall of Aztec West with the sunset position on the western horizon. Please wear sturdy walking shoes, and dress for the weather.

For those wanting some insight into this fascinating solar event, Aztec Ruins will offer two ranger programs in the visitor center: one program starting before the solar observation at 3:45PM and the other starting just after sunset around 5:00PM.  After the sunset observation, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa provided by the Friends of Aztec Ruins while learning about Pueblo winter traditions, other solar alignments, and the astronomy of the December sky. For more information about the solstice events at Aztec Ruins call (505) 334-6174.

Chaco’s event will take place on December 21. Join Park Astronomers for the Winter Solstice sunrise alignment at Kin Kletso. The first 100 visitors who arrive will be allowed past the gate to witness this event. Gates will open at 6AM. Gallo Campground reservations are recommended and can be made at recreation.gov. Cookies and coffee provided by the Friends of Chaco will be available at the visitor center after the sunrise program.

Following the sunrise program there will be a ranger guided tour of Pueblo Bonito at 10AM. At 2PM visitors can awaken to the six directions as you experience Dr. Cherilynn Morrow’s “Connect to Chaco’s Center Place” program. For more info about Chaco’s solstice program call 505-786-7014.


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