On April 22nd, during 5th Dimension Tours' inaugural journey to Valley of Fires, Sedona and Chaco Canyon, we'll get the rare and amazing opportunity to view an annual meteor shower from an International Dark-Sky Park! Chaco Culture National Park, our third stop on the tour, was awarded Gold-tier level distinction by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), by designating over 99% of the park as a "natural darkness zone". Chaco rates as one of the best places in the country to experience and enjoy natural darkness.
The Lyrid meteor shower is predicted to reach its maximum, right around sunset on the day of our arrival, and will continue to produce up to 20 meteors an hour throughout the night. We'll have good visibility as it begins to gets dark around 9:30pm (astronomical twilight), when the sun reaches 18-degrees below the horizon. Around 11:00pm we'll be under the darkest sky, when the waxing crescent moon sets over the western horizon. Lyra - the constellation from which the meteors appear to originate from - will be just rising over the northeastern horizon.
For more information on the Lyrid meteor shower, check out Earthsky.org.
Ancient remains found over a century ago in a lavish crypt in Chaco Canyon, considered to be "the richest burial known in the Southwest", has shown new evidence of a matriarchal dynasty.
Found in Room 33 in Pueblo Bonito, these remains were accompanied by turquoise jewelry, shell beads, pendants, musical instruments and pottery, and spanned 330 years. In 2017, mitochondrial DNA sequencing showed that they were all directly related and all were traced to one maternal ancestor. This is evidence of a ruling or elite class, where power and privilege is passed down from mother to daughter.
Read more about it here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ancient-dna-yields-unprecedented-insights-into-mysterious-chaco-civilization/