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star axis: a naked-eye observatory projects cosmic dimensions into human scales

By November 10th, 2021Advertising, Art, Design, Fashion, Trends

naked-eye observation of cosmic phenomena

‘star axis’ designed by charles ross is an architectural sculpture for naked-eye observation of cosmic phenomena. the project was conceived by the artist in 1971 and began building in 1976 in the desert of the new mexico, after a 4-year search to find the ideal site. as its name reveals, the structure is precisely aligned with earth’s axis and arranged by earth-to-star alignments. it offers visitors an intimate experience of celestial dimensions compared to the human scale. all images courtesy of charles ross

star axis is about light, time, and planetary motion 

made of granite, sandstone, bronze, stainless steel, and earth, star axis (see more here) spans eleven stories in height and 1/10th of a mile in width. it furthermore features five main elements with the ‘star tunnel’ being its core. at this chamber, the viewer can walk through layers of celestial time, making directly visible the 26,000-year cycle of precession, earth’s shifting alignment with the stars.

the ‘solar pyramid’ takes shape as a 55-foot high granite tetrahedron whose form is defined by the summer and winter solstices. the third chamber, dubbed ‘the shadow field’ captures the shape traced by all of the solar pyramid’s daily shadows over the course of the year. from inside the ‘hour chamber’ one can view one hour of earth’s rotation, while from inside the ‘equatorial chamber’ one can observe the stars that travel directly above the equator. star axis offers an intimate experience of how the earth’s environment extends into the space of the stars.

star axis: a naked-eye observatory projects cosmic dimensions into human scales star axis: a naked-eye observatory projects cosmic dimensions into human scales star axis: a naked-eye observatory projects cosmic dimensions into human scalesstar axis: a naked-eye observatory projects cosmic dimensions into human scalesstar axis: a naked-eye observatory projects cosmic dimensions into human scales

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