Anasazi Navajo word meaning "ancient ones" or "ancient enemy." For many years this was the name used for the ancestors of people living in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. Today, most people use the term ancient Puebloans or Chacoans.
Chacoans/Chacoan People The term for a large group encompassing more than nineteen Native American tribes that once inhabited the Four Corners region. When Spanish explorers came to this region, they named the entire populace Anasazi (or "ancient ones" in the Navajo language).
Chaco Phenomenon A term coined to refer to the distinctive and sometimes perplexing features of the Chacoan culture, which included great houses built in a desolate area at the center of a widely distributed population in the Four Corners region.
coronal mass ejection An ejection of large amounts of matter from the sun's atmosphere, or corona. The corona is contained by magnetic fields that can suddenly rearrange, releasing an enormous bubble of matter.
Two midpoints in the sun's yearly cycle. In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal (spring) equinox occurs around March 21, the autumnal (fall) equinox around September 23. These are the days in the year when the hours of daylight and nighttime are equal.
A Puebloan people in northeastern Arizona.
Polaris, the star that roughly marks the northern point of the earthís axis.
Pueblo A term for a Native American town or community that encompasses not only the physical town but the cultural aspects of a tribe. Also used as a term for describing a group of nineteen tribes in the Southwest (Puebloans).
radiometric dating A technique whereby the predictable decay of naturally occurring radioactive elements is used to establish the age of an object. Elements used in radioactive dating include carbon-14, uranium, thorium, rubidium, and others.
The day of the year when the sun reaches its extreme northerly or southerly point. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice happens near June 21, when the sun is at its northern extreme; the winter solstice occurs near December 21, when the sun is at its southern extreme.