Satellite Photo of Casa Rinconada Observatory, New Mexico
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Casa Rinconada, built between 1070 and 1110 AD, sits on an isolated hill about one-half mile across the Chaco Canyon from Pueblo Bonito. One of the six great community kivas (ceremonial chambers used by Anasazi and Hopi nations, either partially or fully underground) in the area, the structure is about 20 meters across and four to five meters deep. A 1970s survey of the area found this site to have precise solstice and equinox alignments. The main axis of the kiva is aligned through doorways on both the north and south sides.
Modeled on a perfect circle, niches in the interior form an east-west line. Scientists who measured the alignments of these features found the accuracy of the north-south alignment to be within 45 arc-seconds or three-quarter of a degree while the error in the east-west alignment is only eight arc-seconds. Solar alignments occur on the winter and summer solstices when sunlight entering the kiva falls upon one of six irregular niches. From a given niche, the sun framed in the narrow window could be seen.
About the Casa Rinconada Satellite Image
GeoEye's IKONOS satellite took this image of Casa Rinconada in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico on September 7, 2004. Photo credit: GeoEye
- Date Acquired:07-SEP-2004
- Upper Left Latitude: 36.1667
- Upper Left Longitude:-107.9488
- Upper Right Latitude: 36.1669
- Upper Right Longitude: -107.8227
- Lower Right Latitude: 36.0466
- Lower Right Longitude: -107.8227
- Lower Left Latitude: 36.0469
- Lower Left Longitude: -107.9487
- Overall Cloud Score: 0
- Cloud Score - Upper Left: 0
- Cloud Score - Upper Right: 0
- Cloud Score - Lower Left:0
- Cloud Score - Lower Right: 0
- Satellite Tilt Angle: 83.3043
- Sun Azimuth: 154.2636
- Sun Elevation: 57.3884