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PASS: Astronomy of the Americas

PASS: Astronomy of the Americas

PASS: Astronomy of the Americas
  • Price: $32
  • Description: Narration Script and media (still images and movies) included.

Astronomy of the Americas explores the astronomical concepts of five cultures:

  • the Hupa of Northern California
  • the Plains People and Medicine Wheel, Wyoming
  • the Anasazi of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
  • the Maya of Mexico and Central America
  • the Inca of Peru

As with people everywhere in the world, Native Americans observe the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and the planets. In all of the Native American astronomies included in this program, there is a common theme: horizon astronomy. Watching for the rising and setting of astronomical objects allows us to track time, keep calendars, follow the seasons, and better understand our place in the cycles of the cosmos. It would be very difficult to include all five cultures in a single program. Although the time of presentation will vary greatly according to local planetarium circumstance, the first section on the Hupa is longest, taking 30–40 minutes. A custom show can be created by combining selected cultures to feature. The parts of the Astronomy of the Americas show are:

  1. Hupa People—Cultural Calendar
  2. Sunrise Watching—The Solar Year
  3. Medicine Wheel
  4. The Anasazi
  5. The Maya
  6. The Inca

Associated classroom activities are:

  • Aztec/Mayan Math
  • Morning & Evening Star
  • Observing Sunsets

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