Voices from New Mexico's Space History
Voices from New Mexico's Space History
Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the October 2018 installment.
Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the October 2018 installment.
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This excerpt is from one of several research papers collected in Chaco Astronomy: An Ancient American Cosmology. A thousand years ago, Anasazi Indians living in what is now northwestern New Mexico studied the Sun and Moon carefully.

... we confirmed that the people of Chaco marked the summer and winter solstices, and the equinoxes, by forming vertical light patterns on two spiral petroglyphs at the Sun Dagger site on Fajada Butte. ... In addition to the summer solstice event of the light dagger bisecting the large spiral, at equinox a needle of light bisects the small spiral on the cliff face to the left of the large spiral; and at winter solstice two vertical light shafts fall on the outer edges of the large spiral, bracketing it.

... the astronomers of Chaco also recorded the extremes of the 18.6 year lunar cycle at the Sun Dagger site in patterns of shadow on the larger of the two spiral petroglyphs. ... In commemoration of the major standstill position of the moon, when the moon rises the furthest north in its 18.6 year cycle, a diagonal shadow falls on the left edge of the spiral. Nine and a half years later, when the moon rises at the other extreme of its cycle, the minor standstill position, its shadow falls on the center of the spiral.



See previously featured quotes on the following pages:
        Voices Archives for the current year
            [2017 Voices Archives were lost in a computer crash]
        2016 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2016
        2015 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2015
        2014 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2014
        2013 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2013
        2012 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2012
        2011 Voices Archives for quotes posted during 2011


Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.


Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is
© Loretta Hall 2010-2018.

This excerpt is from one of several research papers collected in Chaco Astronomy: An Ancient American Cosmology. A thousand years ago, Anasazi Indians living in what is now northwestern New Mexico studied the Sun and Moon carefully.

... we confirmed that the people of Chaco marked the summer and winter solstices, and the equinoxes, by forming vertical light patterns on two spiral petroglyphs at the Sun Dagger site on Fajada Butte. ... In addition to the summer solstice event of the light dagger bisecting the large spiral, at equinox a needle of light bisects the small spiral on the cliff face to the left of the large spiral; and at winter solstice two vertical light shafts fall on the outer edges of the large spiral, bracketing it.

... the astronomers of Chaco also recorded the extremes of the 18.6 year lunar cycle at the Sun Dagger site in patterns of shadow on the larger of the two spiral petroglyphs. ... In commemoration of the major standstill position of the moon, when the moon rises the furthest north in its 18.6 year cycle, a diagonal shadow falls on the left edge of the spiral. Nine and a half years later, when the moon rises at the other extreme of its cycle, the minor standstill position, its shadow falls on the center of the spiral.

See previously featured quotes on the following pages:
Voices Archives for the current year
[Voices Archives from 2017 were lost in a computer crash]
2016 Voices Archives
2015 Voices Archives
2014 Voices Archives
2013 Voices Archives
2012 Voices Archives
2011 Voices Archives


Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.


Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2018.

For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
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For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.