Native American Astronomy

Show Description:

There are hundreds of Native American cultures, each with distinctive views of the heavens. In this program, students visit five cultures: the Hupa people of Northern California, Medicine Wheel in Northern Wyoming, Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, the Mayan people and the Incan people. Students observe moon cycles and changes in the sunrise and sunset positions on the horizon to learn how these practices help Native Americans stay in tune with the harmonies of nature. Classroom activities include working with the Mayan and Aztec number systems, observing changes in real sunset positions and learning how Venus can appear as either the "Morning Star" or "Evening Star."

Native American Astronomy

(PASS), is featured in the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) April 29 issue (Vol 12, No. 17) of Focus in an article entitled History of Science: An Astronomy Example (See the Resources section).


News/Updates for PASS: Native American Astronomy


This program is available in electronic format, with all images and movies included, from the following sources:

For questions regarding content,

e-mail Alan Gould.

Classroom Activities:

The following classroom activities are provided for the 2005 Sun-Earth Day event "Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge":

All activities copyright 1993 by the Regents of The University of California