Star Axis

1.Star AxisStar Axis: Looking north at the entrance to the Star Tunnel and its central staircase, which is aligned with the axis of the earth.
2.Star Axis Star TunnelStar Axis Star Tunnel: View from the bottom stair of the Star Tunnel. From here the aperture at the top frames the celestial pole and the smallest orbits of Polaris in 2067-2142 AD.
3.Star Axis ApertureStar Axis Aperture: View from the top stair of the Star Tunnel. From here the aperture frames the largest and most distant past and future orbits of Polaris in 11,000 BC and 15,000 AD.
4.Star Axis Solar PyramidStar Axis Solar Pyramid: The spine of the Solar Pyramid is aligned with the axis of the earth. Its face is aligned with the sun at summer solstice.

Ross’s earthwork, Star Axis, is located in the New Mexico desert. It is both architectonic sculpture and naked eye observatory. The approach to building Star Axis involves gathering a variety of star alignments in different time scales and building them into sculptural form. Walking through its chambers you can see how star space relates to human scale and how the space of the stars reaches down into the earth. Ross conceived of Star Axis in 1971 and began building it in 1976 after a 4-year search through the southwest to find the perfect site—a mesa where one stands at the boundary between earth and sky. He’s now finishing Star Axis with a crew of local stonemasons. It’s made with granite, sandstone, bronze, stainless steel, and earth. When completed, Star Axis will be eleven stories high and a fifth of a mile across.