Stargazers study lunar standstills at Chimney Rock National Monument


By Joan Mieritz

Special to The PREVIEW

The next regular meeting of the San Juan Stargazers will be on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce located on Hot Springs Boulevard.

Our guest speaker will be Ron Sutcliff, an archaeoastronomer who did research at Chimney Rock during the last Lunar Standstill, and who has much information and many fascinating theories about what happened and its significance to the ancient Chacoan people.

Chimney Rock volunteers and curious residents are invited to join us and learn about this local phenomenon. In case of inclement weather, we have a backup date of Thursday, March 27.

I hope you noticed that March 27 is the fourth Thursday of the month. In March, the San Juan Stargazers will be making a big change in our meeting night. We have always met on the third Thursday, but because many Stargazers also have an interest in birds and the Audubon Society meets the third Wednesday each month, we have decided to change the Stargazers meetings to the fourth Thursday of each month. It will make the third week of each month a little less hectic.

The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a great website,, as well as an e-mail address, and a club phone number (970) 335-8286 to help communicate with the public.

Anyone interested in learning more about astronomy is invited to come. The public is always welcome at our events.