Chichén Itzá

Seventh Wonder of the Modern World

About the ShowImmerse yourself in the beauty of Chichén Itzá, Mexico, the “seventh wonder of the modern world.” Listen to the story of the ancient Maya civilization. Experience Tales of the Maya Skies.

With unprecedented realism Tales of the Maya Skies immerses us in Maya science, art and mythology, using full dome digital technology to transport us back into the world of the Maya.

Produced by Chabot Space & Science Center, Tales of the Maya Skies inspires and educates through its description of the Maya’s accurate astronomical achievements and how astronomy connected them to the Universe.


SettingGrammy Award winner and Oscar nominee, Lila Downs, narrates, as Tales of the Maya Skies brings us back to the ancient jungles of Mexico, where the Maya built cities and temples aligned to movements of the Sun, Moon and planets. Over many years they observed and documented astronomical events with great accuracy.

The Maya made sense of an ever-changing world by observing, recording and predicting natural events such as solstices, solar eclipses, weather patterns, and planetary movements. These observations, in combination with a sophisticated mathematical system, allowed them to develop a precise calendar system; their measurements of the length of the solar year were more accurate than measurements the Europeans used as the basis of the Gregorian calendar. The Maya also predicted eclipses, were able to forecast seasonal change and developed the concept of mathematical zero, enabling them to predict events into the future.

Tales of the Maya Skies weaves together this rich combination of science, culture, and legend, immersing viewers in the sounds and sights of an ancient way of life.

Recent deciphering of the Maya hieroglyphics is providing archeologists with new and exciting discoveries. Using three dimensional laser scanning and advanced graphic techniques, the virtual reconstruction of architecture in Tales of the Maya Skies also supports these archeologists in interpreting the ancient sites, and contributes to their conservation.

Funding for the production of Tales of the Maya Skies was provided by the National Science Foundation and the Instituto Politécnico Nacional. It is the first full-dome digital show highlighting a Latin American culture, and Spanish language narration is available.

Tales of the Maya Skies is showing in planetariums in the United States, Latin America and around the world.


Production Credit

A Chabot Space & Science Center production.
Major funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

Chabot Space & Science Center          National Science Foundation

Supplementary funding provided by the Instituto Politécnico Nacional and Fundación Alfredo Harp Helú.

In association with ARTS Lab/University of New Mexico, Digitrove, Inc., Institute for Learning Innovation, Institute for the Study and Integration of Graphical Heritage Techniques, and Palma VFX.

Music Composer: Michael Stearns.
Writers: Alonso Mendez and Carol Karasik.
Producer: Konda Mason.
Director: Arne Jin An Wong.
Narrated by Lila Downs.

Distributed by Sky-Skan
Sky-Skan. Inc.


Spitz, Inc.Spitz Logo