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Astronomy, Art and Collectivism

Scutum Star Cloud in the constellation Scutum. Taken in August 2022 at White Mound County Park, near Sauk City, Wisconsin. A brilliant line of haze, resembling the stem of a rose bush, with prickles of white mist protruding twenty-five degrees outwards in all directions, crosses the sky, its brightest clouds casting shadows on the ground. As hot summers, frigid winters, persistent drought, and the difficult world of an ancient city in an unforgiving desert daunted them below, the Ancestral Puebloans of Chaco Canyon in modern-day New Mexico made the night sky their therapy. Inspired by its concreteness and constancy, they sought to emulate it on Earth, building twelve of their complexes–their pyramids of the West, the largest structures in North America until the nineteenth century–to align with solar and lunar cycles. Constructed over centuries, each building required decades of astronomical observation and generations of coordinated designs. Conceptually, astronomy and art (in the c

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