PUNCH outreach begins collection of Chaco photography
On its southeastern facet, the chosen site includes a petroglyph possibly representing the 1097 eclipse with an active solar corona. The June outings focused on time-lapse photography from the perspective of a large (43 cm diameter) spiral-like petroglyph on the northeastern facet of the site.
PUNCH-sponsored photographers documented high-resolution horizon interactions as the Sun rose near to a triangle-shaped rock and recorded the first-ever data on the interplay of light and shadow with the spiral that are time-correlated with the sunrises.
There are two data sets for June 2021, one for 4-6 June and the other for the solstice proper (20-22 June). Changes during that period may have been significant to ancient Sun watchers responsible for the timing of important ceremonies. The solstice sunrise is an important reference point. The PUNCH Outreach image (above) offers the clearest, most definitive photo of it ever recorded for this horizon. About a half-month prior to and after the solstice the Sun rises in the notch at the left base of the large, triangle-shaped rock and then appears to roll up the left (north) side, arriving at the top over an 11-minute period.
PUNCH Outreach plans to collaborate with our Native American partners to make appropriate use of collected resources alongside imagery from NASA heliophysics missions in planetarium films, digital interactive lessons, and Chaco interpretive materials, all related to our Ancient and Modern Sun Watching theme.