Published: March 21, 2005
Total Running Time: 02:04:36
Join us in our celebration of the spring equinox—the day and night are of equal length and the sun is at its sunrise midpoint along the horizon. Like many ancient cultures, the Maya in Southern Mexico kept the positions of the sun in mind while building their great buildings. A beautiful example is displayed at a site called Chichén Itzá, in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. Thousands of people will gather to witness the appearance of a shadow, in the form of a serpent, that will descend the main staircase of the great pyramid. The Live@Exploratorium was there to capture the snake as it appears and to speak with local archaeologists, archeoastronomers, and solar scientists about this amazing alignment, the Mayan cosmology behind it, and what the sun means to us today.