On Site Tours/Seasonal Gatherings
While the Interim Solar Calendar site is primarily set up for citizen
self inquiry and informal learning, a series of four seasonal gatherings
are held at the site each year on the solstices and equinoxes.
Also planned are: (1) occasional monthly gatherings to be held
at full moon; and (2) four noontime light and shadow gatherings
to be held either at the solstices or equinoxes for school trips
and interested community groups.
These gatherings, led by interpretive specialists, will provide
an explanation of how the site operates along with the overall educational
purposes of the project. Each gathering will also include some aspect
of the homage to César Chávez.
Saturday, Dec 22nd
Begins @ 4:15 pm
Sunset @ 4:50 pm
Ends @ 5:15 pm
Led by Alan Gould, Lawrence Hall of Science
Thursday, March 20th
Begins @ 6:30 pm
Sunset @ 7:00 pm
Ends @ 7:30 pm
Led by David Glaser, Science Educator
The Rhythm of the Moon
Each month the full or nearly full moon “rises” in the
east within minutes of the sun setting in the west. It is quite
a wonder to behold. We put “Rises” and “sets”
in quotation marks to remind ourselves that the moon is NOT rising
and the sun is NOT setting. Rather the earth is spinning on its
axis. That is what science tells us, and it is counterintuitive
to our actual experience. This kind of perceptual reorientation
in language and experience is core to the project.
We continue to plot the variable moon “rise” (“earth
spin”) alignments on the easterm horizon. Eventually there
will be interpretive architectural or artistic installations that
will frame and dramatize these horizon/moon intersections.
Here are the times for the Solar Calendar site*
Dec 23 Moonrise 4:50 pm /Sunset 4:50 pm
Jan 21 Moonrise 4:55 pm / Sunset 5:20 pm
Feb 20 Moonrise 6:10 pm / Sunset 5:50 pm
Feb 20 Total Lunar Eclipse
Mar 20 Moonrise 7:00 pm / Sunset 7:15 pm
Check how the moon “rises” at a different point on the
Horizon each month. *Times are approximate…
The day-to-day variability of weather at the site is a visual tapestry.
Often wonderful, but like most of the major ancient sky observatories
in the world, the Solar Calendar site can be inhospitable at times.
Making a friend of the variable wind, cloud formations, fog, rain,
and light and shadow effects is a central part of the solar calendar
experience. To experience the site under less than desirable conditions
only makes it that much more delightful when the conditions are
For school or group visits at noon