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.

Next Gatherings:

Winter Solstice
Saturday, Dec 22nd
Begins @ 4:15 pm
Sunset @ 4:50 pm
Ends @ 5:15 pm
Led by Alan Gould, Lawrence Hall of Science

Spring Equinox
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…

Weather Rhythms
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 good.

For school or group visits at noon
contact: chavezmemorial@sbcglobal.net










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