Milky Way above Chaco Canyon
The rising arch of the Milky Way over the Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, United States. The majestic scene is photographed from the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The World Heritage site preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the US. Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. The circular structure is the great kiva Casa Rinconada. Kivas are ceremonial places in Pueblo culture, and possibly the symbol of the cosmos. The doors of the Kiva are very well aligned with the geographic direction and there are other alignments in the structure that raised the idea which this Kiva was used for celestial observations and a reliable calendar. Click on the second photo to see another nightscape view of the site.