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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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magic612
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The truth about the Mayan Calendar
      #5561252 - 12/08/12 05:39 PM

I took a fantastic two-day long seminar at the Adler Planetarium back in January of this year. I learned about about the Mayan Calendars (yes, that's plural), and how astronomy really fits in neatly with their calendars and other aspects of Maya life. I developed a 45-50 minute long presentation that, over the last year, I have given at many local libraries, astronomy clubs and a star party. It has been well-received at each venue. I condensed most of the major/important aspects of my presentation into a 10 minute long video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8LImGzil3s

Given that we as amateur astronomers readily know and/or understand many of the concepts involved in the calendar and their understanding of the sky, this really does fit nicely under a "General Astronomy" forum. Therefore, I thought it might be helpful for those of us who may not know about the Mayan Calender, but would like to discuss it intelligently prior to December 21, 2012.

However, if the mods deem this needs to move to another forum, I understand (hopefully not in "Off Topic" since it really is astronomy-related in many ways).


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SteveNH
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5561402 - 12/08/12 07:45 PM

Excellent, entertaining, and very informative. I truly enjoyed watching it - thank you, David, for posting this!

Steve


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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: SteveNH]
      #5561503 - 12/08/12 09:03 PM

Thanks Steve! I'm just sharing the information I learned.

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lamplight
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5561533 - 12/08/12 09:25 PM

thanks.. I kept waiting for you to use the word cycle and was gratified I understand that there are some codices that could be interpreted as problems but I can't remember.. I think there were two separate sources, the dresden codices? and something found in a temple, associated with that particular long count reset. but as the old mayan guynsays, interpretation. I am not saying I ascribe to doomsday but you have to admit it is awfully , incredibly, amazingly odd that the. Calendar started befor they were supposed to be a civilization and ends these thousands of years later accurately On a celestial event. Very hard to believe they did this with sticks in the sand and naked eye observing, seems like they had more skill than us.

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Dennis_S253
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: lamplight]
      #5561573 - 12/08/12 10:03 PM

Do you think NASA would tell you the truth? OOPs dead birds how did they explain that? Just kidding....lol. The sun is on the galactic plane every winter solstice, right?

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sg6
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5561897 - 12/09/12 05:42 AM

Quote:

Therefore, I thought it might be helpful for those of us who may not know about the Mayan Calender, but would like to discuss it intelligently prior to December 21, 2012.




So are you saying we are not going to be around the discuss it, intellectually or otherwise, after Dec 21st then ?

A few of the local authorities etc here have been asked and the several seem to have suggested using the Boy Scout Guide to making a fire and shelters etc for after the apocalypse.


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bigstormgirl
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5561951 - 12/09/12 07:43 AM

Both my DH and I enjoyed your video David. Liked it so much that we shared it on FB. Excellent job!

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Ed D
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: bigstormgirl]
      #5561977 - 12/09/12 08:17 AM

Thanks for the very good video.

Ed D


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csrlice12
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: Ed D]
      #5562109 - 12/09/12 10:03 AM

Good thing I got my Christmas Present early......

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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: sg6]
      #5562137 - 12/09/12 10:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Therefore, I thought it might be helpful for those of us who may not know about the Mayan Calender, but would like to discuss it intelligently prior to December 21, 2012.




So are you saying we are not going to be around the discuss it, intellectually or otherwise, after Dec 21st then ?




Ha! I missed my own (erroneous) implication!


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csa/montana
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5562139 - 12/09/12 10:21 AM

Folks, as long as this is discussed in the manner the OP has suggested, the thread will be fine. However, if it starts to go downhill with chatter about "doomsday", it will be locked; as other threads in OTO have been on that particular topic.

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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5562155 - 12/09/12 10:32 AM

Thanks for the admonition Carol; I certainly hope the thread does stay focused on the Maya, their calendar system and astronomy.

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rockethead26
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5562186 - 12/09/12 10:52 AM

Great presentation, thanks!

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Pharquart
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5562202 - 12/09/12 11:00 AM

I had some business associates ask me about this, knowing I was into astronomy. I told them I could walk all around the building and find numerous calendars that "run out" on December 31, all made by different companies. This, I concluded, was vast evidence that the world was ending not on December 21 (supported by one ancient calendar), but on December 31 (supported by calendars based on modern science). That analogy helped them understand the situation.

Brian


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blb
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5562212 - 12/09/12 11:04 AM

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.

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ZeroID
sage


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Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: blb]
      #5563231 - 12/09/12 10:02 PM

Quote:

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.




That's an excellent answer. Haven't had too much flak on Dec 21 yet but there's been some mutterings amongst the mis-informed. Must keep tat one handy. thanks !!


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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: blb]
      #5563266 - 12/09/12 10:32 PM

Quote:

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.




Are you asking me?


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killdabuddha
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5563395 - 12/10/12 12:19 AM

Here's a resource, Volume XXIV, 2011

http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/journals/jarch.html

Such things as The Maya Calendar and 2012 Phenomenon Studies; Primordial Time and Future Time: Maya Era Day Mythology in the Context of the Tortuguero 2012 Prophecy; The Sidereal Year and the Celestial Caiman: and Measuring Deep Time in Maya Inscriptions.

And also this, Songs from the Sky: Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World

http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~tlaloc/archastro/songs.html

Back to Maya-specific, try MAYA AND MESOAMERICAN ARCHAEOASTRONOMY

http://www.tulane.edu/~danny/maya.html

Also good is The War Against Time--The Secrets Of The Incas, and the "invisible pyramid"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCW35nSeLP0





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CollinofAlabama
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5563460 - 12/10/12 01:36 AM

I actually had a journalist contact me about "the planetary alignment on Dec. 21st". I showed him there would be no alignment. I then pointed him to E. C. Krupp's excellent S&T article from the Fall of 2011 that NASA has on their website here. I cc:-ed an Astronomy Prof he had also contacted in my response. Haven't heard a word from him since.

How did they clean up the Heaven's Gate mass suicide? Comet.

If you think you've seen this movie before, well, you have. But let's crack the champaign for Baktun 14!


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Qwickdraw
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: blb]
      #5563595 - 12/10/12 06:22 AM

Quote:

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.




This has always been my thought as well. It goes something like this. A Mayan astrologer is chipping away on a stone tablet. His wife shows up and tells him dinner is ready, hence Dec 21st


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star drop
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5563689 - 12/10/12 08:04 AM

The truth about the Mayan Calendar is that they needed better monthly pictures. Paid subscriptions dropped off and the publisher went bankrupt.

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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5563817 - 12/10/12 09:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.




This has always been my thought as well. It goes something like this. A Mayan astrologer is chipping away on a stone tablet. His wife shows up and tells him dinner is ready, hence Dec 21st




No, they actually had a good astronomical reason for when it started and ended. No doubt they did what the Western world did, and backdated their calendar to a convenient "start date" - but they also managed to have a 1,872,000 days long calendar finish up 13 baktuns (a significant number for the Maya) on an astronomically important day, a winter solstice.

They were quite good as astronomy; it wasn't a matter of "Honey, dinner's ready."


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killdabuddha
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5564114 - 12/10/12 12:54 PM


Indeed, isn't it their accuracy--to within .0002 second that of our atomic clocks?--which makes any of the rest so potentially relevant or interesting?


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Slow Astronomer
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5564430 - 12/10/12 04:13 PM

As our scentific & investigative techniques advance and we reinvestigate ancient man it continues to amaze me at how much they are really like us. They don't have our technology but they certainly have the brains. Indeed, they helped create the technology. They could figure sophisticated concepts out. My eyeballs are getting sore from rolling up in my head every time someone proffers the ancient alien helping ancient man explanation. They WERE smart people. And yes, I think other life in the universe is probable but we may never find it.

Dave


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wky46
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: Slow Astronomer]
      #5564487 - 12/10/12 04:50 PM

Wasn't it Caesar that burned that great library in Alexandria? Just think of the information lost. People have been smart for a very long time

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killdabuddha
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: wky46]
      #5564569 - 12/10/12 05:29 PM

Quote:

Wasn't it Caesar that burned that great library in Alexandria? Just think of the information lost. People have been smart for a very long time




Not any longer..."Therefore, the Royal Alexandrian Library may have been burned after Strabo's visit to the city (25 BC) but before the beginning of the 2nd century AD when Plutarch wrote. Otherwise Plutarch and later historians would not have mentioned the incident and mistakenly attributed it to Julius Caesar. It is also most probable that the library was destroyed by someone other than Caesar, although the later generations linked the fire that took place in Alexandria during Caesar's time to the burning of the Bibliotheca. Some believe that the most likely scenario was the destruction that accompanied the wars between Zenobia of Palmyra and the Roman Emperor Aurelian, in the second half of the 3rd century"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria

And in the case of the Mayans..."Our knowledge of ancient Maya thought must represent only a tiny fraction of the whole picture, for of the thousands of books in which the full extent of their learning and ritual was recorded, only four have survived to modern times (as though all that posterity knew of ourselves were to be based upon three prayer books and Pilgrim's Progress)."
—Michael D. Coe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_codices



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edwincjones
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5564962 - 12/10/12 09:44 PM

very good presentation

edj


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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5565056 - 12/10/12 10:54 PM

Quote:

And in the case of the Mayans..."Our knowledge of ancient Maya thought must represent only a tiny fraction of the whole picture, for of the thousands of books in which the full extent of their learning and ritual was recorded, only four have survived to modern times (as though all that posterity knew of ourselves were to be based upon three prayer books and Pilgrim's Progress)."
—Michael D. Coe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_codices




Indeed, the Spaniards burned or destroyed what they did find. We are fortunate to have the four codices left, as well as the temples and other stelae to study. Just recently, the astronomy workshop I mentioned in the video was discovered, and researchers have only scratched the surface of what it contains. When I first read about it this summer, they indicated they had, at best, deciphered and looked at a mere 1% of it. The ancient Maya may yet reveal a few secrets of what they knew about astronomy - I look forward to finding out more in the years ahead.


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Meadeball
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5565135 - 12/10/12 11:36 PM

Oh, c'mon. We all know the Earth is going to be demolished by the Vogons to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Just have three pints and a packet of peanuts at the ready, and make sure you know where your towel is.

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kfiscus
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: Meadeball]
      #5565258 - 12/11/12 12:52 AM

Very funny "Arlo and Janis" comic strip in papers today (12-10-12) regarding the Mayan calendar.

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Slow Astronomer
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5565708 - 12/11/12 10:47 AM

But above all - DON'T PANIC!!!

Now what the heck was the question? Hey Unky Rod, got any o' thet Yell left?

Everyone should be required to read a history of astronomy. It's amazing what was discovered BEFORE 1900! We've made absolutely amazing strides since but the timeline up to 1900 is outasight! Amazing considering the state of technology at the time of each event. Just a few highlights:

2000BC - Hippaarchos completes first star catalog
150AD - Ptolemy publishes earth centered universe
970 - al-Sufi prepares catalog of over 1000 stars
1420 - Ulugh-Beg builds observatory & prepares star & planet tables
1543 - Copernicus publishes heliocentic solar system
1609 - Galileo discovers moon craters, jovian moons
1666 - Isaac Newtown 'splains gravity
1671 - Newton demonstrates reflecting telescope
1705 - Halley predicts return of comet
1758 - Palitzch discovers Halley's comet return
1781 - Herschel discovers Uranus
1842 - Dolppler dicovers the Doppler Effect
1846 - Galle discovers Neptune

Clear skies, Dave


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5566407 - 12/11/12 06:22 PM

David,

Thanks for sharing your excellent presentation.

Dave Mitsky


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bardo
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: blb]
      #5566952 - 12/12/12 03:40 AM

Quote:

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.




because that doesn't sell books.


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magic612
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: bardo]
      #5567224 - 12/12/12 09:40 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Every January 1st we start a new year, so why is it that when the Myan calendar ends the world ends rather than the calendar just starts over? Feel free to answer this on Sat. Dec. 22nd. I will be waiting for an answer.




because that doesn't sell books.






Yup, that about sums it up.


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killdabuddha
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: magic612]
      #5567453 - 12/12/12 12:13 PM


Here's another resource, Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy: From Giza to Easter Island

http://books.google.com/books?id=jzFk65Z8UIUC&pg=PA172&lpg=PA172&...


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: The truth about the Mayan Calendar new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5567728 - 12/12/12 02:32 PM

Begin the Baktun!

http://www.chabotspace.org/calendar.htm?date=12-22-2012&p=1827782

Dave Mitsky


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