Utah has the Sun Tunnels, New Mexico has Star Axis
Winter Solstice is around the corner. Great time to visit the Star Axis by artist Charles Ross. The guys at Aeon Magazine wrote a great article about it here.
Star Axis is a part of the Land Art movement begun in the 1960s and 70s. Located in the New Mexico desert, Star Axis was conceived in 1971 and is now nearing completion. This earthwork is on an Egyptian or pre-Columbian scale. It includes a Solar Pyramid, where from inside you can view an hour of Earth’s rotation. The central element of Star Axis, the Star Tunnel, is cut into the side of a mesa with an ascending 60 metre stairway in perfect alignment with the axis of the earth. As visitors climb the stairs of the Star Tunnel they pass through 26,000 years of Earth/star history, viewing distant past and future aspects of Earth’s shifting alignment with the stars.
Eleven stories high and 1/10th mile across, Star Axis is an architectonic sculpture that literally places viewers inside the trajectory of the earth’s axis. Like the observatories of many ancient cultures, Star Axis captures earth/star alignments. Ross remarks: “Each element of Star Axis, every shape, every measure, every angle, was first discovered by astronomical observation and then brought down into the land – star geometry anchored in earth and rock.”