Calendar in the Sky Articles


Igor Ruderman
You hear the word science used often these days. But, what do we mean when we talk about science and in the context of Calendar in the Sky, what do we mean when we talk about NASA science or Maya science?

The Maya: Ancient and Modern

Nancy Ali
Just as scientists today study the Sun, Moon, planets and stars, more than a thousand years ago the ancient Maya watched the heavens. Maya community members tell us that they have been in Mesoamerica for many thousands of years. Archeologists separate Maya history into different time periods that differentiate important changes in the Maya civilization. The Pre-Classic period began as early as 1800 BCE (Before Common Era). Archeologists find evidence that during this time the Maya began settling in what are now southern Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. During the Classic period, between 300 BCE to 900 CE (Common Era), the Maya built their settlements into great cities and the civilization flourished.

From People to Black Holes

Igor Ruderman
When people think of NASA, they usually think of astronauts. However, NASA also conducts research into topics like astronomy, planetary sciences, space physics, and Earth sciences—or more simply put, NASA studies Earth and Space.

The Science of 2012

Igor Ruderman
Chances are you have heard or read that the Maya supposedly predicted the end of the world in the year 2012—December 21st, 2012 to be exact. This is simply not true. There is no evidence that the ancient Maya thought the world would end in 2012, nor are modern Maya people making such dire claims.

The Descent of K'uk'ulkan

Nancy Ali
Hundreds of people stand gathered in front of an ancient Maya pyramid temple, waiting for the Sun to drop lower in the sky. On this special day – a day of equal hours of light and darkness – it is said that the great feathered serpent god K’uk’ulkan will descend from the sky, slither down the enormous pyramid and energize the earth. A sense of excitement shivers through the crowd as the top-most of the pyramid’s platforms begins to cast a shadow on the northwestern staircase. Spellbound, people watch as the shadow creeps lower, creating the effect of a serpent of light moving down the staircase. At last, the stone serpent head at the base of the pyramid is illuminated by the Sun and the crowd breaks into cheers.

Calendar in the Sky

Bryan Mendez
Calendars are tools that can be used to measure time and record events. They can also be used to plan future events. Cultures all around the world and throughout history have invented a variety of calendars to mark time. Official time is kept here, in the United States, based on the natural cycles of atomic clocks. Our official calendar is also based on the cyclical movements of objects in the sky, as are the majority of calendars kept by other cultures, past and present, including the Maya.
Multiverse skin is based on Greytness by Adammer