Sundial, calendar and Khmer temples
Astro-archaeology = Astroarchaeology0


Phanom Rung, Kuti Rishi, Muang Tam

and the total lunar eclipse the 4th of March 2007



This web-page is a follow up on the article, Celestial romp! - which was published in HORIZONS, Bangkok Post, 1 March, 2007.


3 March 2007

     We arrived to Muang Tam / Kuti Rishi Ban Khok Muang late afternoon the day before the eclipse in order or plan where to take photos the next morning from 04.30.
     At sunset the moon was expected to rise 1 degree from the centre line of the adjoining baray of Prasat Muang Tam (below). Being the last sunset before the full moon the sun seta close to the centre line as well.
     The photos are mostly test of camera, laptop and GPS. The synchronization of ASTRONOMIC CLOCK and the photo of the setting sun (right) indicates that the equipment funtions.


4 March 2007

Above: 04.42   Above: 04.54

     After accommodating at Phanom Rung we arrived to the decided spot on the centre line east of the Kuti Rishi Ban Khok Muang baray (reservoir) at exactly 04.30, when the shadow of the Earth started passing the moon.
     After only 25 minutes clouds obscured the moon and no more photos were taken.

Above: Rahu and Ketu / the Dragon's Head and the Dragon's Tail.

     The photo of the lunar disk to the left was taken the 9th of September 2006 at 02.04 at Phanom Rung. The photo to the right was taken six full moons later.
     The partial lunar eclipse the 9th of September 2006 happened close to the ascending node (Mythologically: Rahu or the Dragon's Head). The Total lunar eclipse happened close to the descending node (Mythologically: Ketu or the Dragon's Tail).

Above: The sun being visible above the cloudy horizon.

Above Right
: Eights spots of burned incense indicate that the locals still perform worshipping at the temple.

Below left: Fishing in the baray of Kuti Rishi Ban Khok Muang.

Below right: Rishi (hermits) in a spirit house in front of Kuti Rishi Ban Khok Muang (Lit.: 'The Hermit's Dwelling at Khok Muang Village).
Khok Muang Village is ethnically Lao and represents a rather recent inhabitation (20th century AD).

     After the eclipsed moon set we rapidly changed location to inside Kuti Rishi Ban Khok Muang in order to take photos of the rising sun.

     In the late afternoon we took photos at Prasat Phanom Rung and measured the orientation of the 2 brick towers inside the temple walls.

     At sunset the western horizon was clouded. The eastern horizon was clouded as well and the sun became visible at an altitude only visible through the doors of the eastern gopura (entrance).


Left: Apsara at Phanom Rung:
The Apsaras, etymologically meaning apsāriṇī, ('aqueous nymphs') 'moving in waters'. In the Vedic literature these nymphs are often described as frequenting forests, lakes and rivers...

Right: The full moon rising in the gates of the eastern gopura of Prasat Phanom Rung.





06 March 2007 Asger Mollerup



โดย อ.ทองคำ


     A longer and more detailed version of the Bangkok Post article was published in June 2007
in the Muang Boran Journal: The Sun, the Moon and Rahu at Prasat Phanom Rung,

which also has a Thai translation:
สุริยัน จันทรา และราหูที่ปราสาทพนมรุ้ง: ข้อสังเกตทางโบราณดาราศาสตร์