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Solar Astronomy in the Prehistoric Southwest

This on-line slide set was created by the High Altitude Observatory (HAO), which is dedicated to the study of the Sun and of the response of the Earth's upper atmosphere to the Sun's output. As a National Science Foundation sponsored laboratory, HAO is committed to the dissemination of its new knowledge to the community at large.

There are twenty slides that include images and explanations on topics relate prehistoric cultures to the Sun and the Earth. Topics include: Chaco Canyon, The Seasons, Solstice Windows and The Sun Dagger (equinox connections).

The Solstice Project

The Solstice Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of ancient cultures of the American Southwest. The Project was founded in 1978 by Anna Sofaer to study, document and preserve the remarkable Sun Dagger-a celestial calendar of the ancient Pueblo Indians-and other achievements of ancient Southwestern cultures. While at this site be sure to click on the links called, ÜResearch PapersS, where you will be able to read papers with titles including:

  • "The Primary Architecture of the Chacoan Culture: A cosmological expression"

  • "Pueblo Bonito Petroglyph on Fajada Butte: Solar Aspects"

  • "Astronomical Markings at Three Sites on Fajada Butte"

  • "A Unique Solar Marking Construct"

Virtual Reality Panoramas

This yearäs Sun-Earth Day webcast will open with a Lakota celebration of the equinox from Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Go to this site to see 2 amazing ÜVirtual Reality PanoramicS views taken from Harney Peak!

Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) . . .

  • is dedicated to increasing the number of African American, American Indian, and Hispanic/Latino students enrolled in master's and doctoral degree programs in the atmospheric and related sciences with the goal of increasing ethnic diversity within the scientific community of the future;

  • is a four-year program for undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in the atmospheric and related sciences;

  • includes a 10-week summer program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) or other national laboratories;

  • provides educational and research opportunities, mentoring, career counseling and guidance, and the possibility of financial support for a graduate-level program;

  • was established by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) through partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and support from the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the UCAR university community.


The American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) is a national, nonprofit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging science and technology with traditional Native values. Through its educational programs, AISES provides opportunities for American Indians and Native Alaskans to pursue studies in science, engineering, and technology arenas. The trained professionals then become technologically informed leaders within the Indian community. AISES' ultimate goal is to be a catalyst for the advancement of American Indians and Native Alaskans as they seek to become self-reliant and self-determined members of society.

Windows to the Universe

Windows to the Universe is a user-friendly learning system on the Earth and Space sciences for the use of the general public. Since 1995, we have been developing an innovative and engaging Web-site that spans the Earth and Space sciences. There goal in this new millennium is to continue to build an internet site that includes a rich array of documents, including images, movies, animations, and data sets, that explore the Earth and Space sciences and the historical and cultural ties between science, exploration, and the human experience.

For thousands of years people have associated objects in the sky, the Earth, and aspects of their physical world with the gods and goddesses of their cultures. Through these pages, find out about the gods and goddesses of different cultures around the world, and the works of art people have created to give them expression.

Visit the following pages on "Windows to the Universe" to learn more about:
Sun Myths including those from the Navajo and Inuit cultures:
Menomini Indians Aurora beliefs:
Starlore of Native America -- a web page maintained by an astronomer at the University of Western Washington.

Responsible NASA Official: Dr. James Thiemann
Web Manager/Curator: Troy Cline
Web Designer/Curator: Lori Ann Persichitti Lopez
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