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For a thousand years, the slanting rays of the setting sun have played a spectacular shadow and light game with this great Mayan pyramid. During the equinoxes, at the appointed hour, the shadow of the Feathered Serpent, Kukulcan appears on the northern stairway...and vanishes.

Don't miss: Geometry of the sunset at Chichen Itza on the Vernal Equinox

Chichen Itza - El Castillo - 3D Model

Chichen Itza¡ - Introduction  |  HISTORY Architecture  |  Design and Dimensions 

 Decoding Kukulkan's Longitude  |  Precessional Alarm Clock  |  The Shadow of the Equinox
Chirping Pyramid  |  Kukulcán - The Legend of Quetzalcóatl  | Celestial AlignmentsKhufu and Kukulcan
 CHICHEN ITZA - More Photos, 3-D MODELChichen Itza Main MenuResources


The Temple of Kukulcan
3D Model

We have created an accurate computer model of "El Castillo" which allows to observe the shadow on the northern stairway for any day (and time) of the year. Please view few snapshots of our model showing light and shadow on March 21.  Do not miss the equinox light and shadow animation below on this page.


EL CASTILLO - The Temple of Kukulcan, Chichén Itzá, Mexico 

The Mayans succeeded in an almost impossible mission with the completion of their structures at Chichén Itzá. A poetic combination of form, style, function, religion, philosophy, mathematics and geometry. A true symbiosis of all of their intelligence and art in one location, to be studied and admired by all that visit.

By far the most impressive structure of  the complex is the "Pyramid of Kukulcan" * (usually called "El Castillo").  This is a square-based, stepped pyramid approximately 30 meters tall (with the temple on top), constructed by the Mayans ca 1000-1200 AD, directly upon the multiple foundations of previous temples. It was mysteriously abandoned along with the surrounding city of Chichen Itza by 1400 AD.

* Kukulcan is the Mayan name for the Feathered Serpent God (also known as Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs).

The pyramid has special astronomical significance and layout.  Each face of the pyramid has a stairway with ninety-one steps, which together with the shared step of the platform at the top, add up to 365, the number of days in a year. These stairways also divide the nine terraces of each side of the pyramid into eighteen segments, representing the eighteen months of the Mayan calendar. 

The pyramid's design reflects the equinoxes and solstices of our solar year in a spectacular game of light and shadow. During the equinoxes, the setting sun casts a shadow of a serpent on the northern steps of the pyramid.

For a thousand years, the slanting rays of the setting sun have played a spectacular shadow and light game with this great Mayan pyramid. During the equinoxes, at the appointed hour, the shadow of the Feathered Serpent, Kukulcan appears on the northern stairway...and vanishes.



Chichen Itza at Spring Equinox.  Image Source >>


3D Model of "El Castillo"

We have created an accurate computer model of "El Castillo" which allows to observe the shadow on the northern stairway for any day (and time) of the year. Please view few snapshots of our model showing light and shadow on March 21.  Do not miss the equinox light and shadow animation at the bottom of this page.


© World-Mysteries.com

Computer Model of El Castillo - the shadow of the Feathered Serpent
on the northern stairway on March 21


© World-Mysteries.com

Computer Model of El Castillo - the shadow of the Feathered Serpent
on the northern stairway on March 21 - Detail (different viewing angle).

   

Vernal Equinox Animation. This animation can be viewed as: 
Flash Movie (452KB), or Animated GIF (424KB)

View our 3D Model of El Castillo>>

Purchase 3D model of the Chichen Itza pyramid:
CHICHEN ITZA PHOTO-CD & 3D MODEL, PRINTS...


Geometry of the sunset at Chichen Itza on the Vernal Equinox

The following images are the result of amazing hi-tech combination of satellite images with program called The Photographer’s Ephemeris which shows you the exact direction of where the sunrise and moonrise will be at any particular location and time using Google maps.

Geometry of the sunset at Chichen Itza on the Vernal Equinox (March 21, 2010). Click to enlarge.
Image generated by The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) -
stephentrainor.com/tools

Geometry of the sunset at Chichen Itza on the Summer Solstice (June 21, 2010). Click to enlarge.
Image generated by The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) -
stephentrainor.com/tools

 

HOT  The Photographer's Ephemeris

 
The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) is a free application for Mac/Windows/Linux designed for landscape photographers. It shows you the exact direction of where the sunrise and moonrise will be at any particular location and time using Google maps. Landscape photographers typically wishing to plan their shoots around the times of sunrise/sunset or twilight, or alternatively when the moon is in a particular place or a particular phase. Click on the logo to learn more and download this free program.
stephentrainor.com/tools



© World-Mysteries.com

Our Computer Model of El Castillo - the shadow of the Feathered Serpent
on the northern stairway on March 21.

 

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