Astronomy Picture of the Day

APOD: 2023 March 19 ┴ Equinox at the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent
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APOD: 2023 March 19 ┴ Equinox at the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent
Credit & Copyright: Robert Fedez
Explanation: To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo -- in Mexico's Yucat÷n Peninsula -- near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid's own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of a slithering viper. Also known as the Temple of Kukulkan, the impressive step-pyramid stands 30 meters tall and 55 meters wide at the base. Built up as a series of square terraces by the pre-Columbian civilization between the 9th and 12th century, the structure can be used as a calendar and is noted for astronomical alignments. The featured composite image was captured in 2019 with Jupiter and Saturn straddling the diagonal central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Tomorrow marks another equinox -- not only at Temple of Kukulc÷n, but all over planet Earth.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: equinox
Publications with words: equinox
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