They were great at predicting eclipses. There is currently a lot of talk about this topic because in some regions of the world an annular solar eclipse was awaited, which was visible yesterday from the United States among other regions. Weakness to The Maya also had this kind of phenomenonas evidenced, for example, by the traces assigned to eclipses and other events observed in the sky.
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The research on this topic was conducted by Ismael Arturo Montero García of the University of Tepeyac. As the scientist explains, the Maya had an amazing knowledge of astronomy and were great at predicting cataracts, achieving great accuracy in this matter. Of course, nowadays, due to access to advanced technologies, it’s much easier, so it begs the question: How were the Mayans so special?
According to Montero Garcia, the Maya were able to predict about 55 percent of eclipses. This result is far from 100 percent, but it is still impressive. The rule that a solar eclipse cannot occur at any time other than the new moon turned out to be very useful in this type of prediction. In contrast, a lunar eclipse can only occur if the moon is full.
The Maya were able to predict up to 55 percent of eclipses. They were great at identifying the cyclical nature of these types of phenomena
The Maya Codex, dating from the 11th or 12th century, contains astronomical tables used to track celestial bodies. The symbol visible there, on page 54, consists of a blue ribbon, the sun, two thigh bones, and black and white wings reminiscent of a butterfly. The Maya gave this event a name Pal KenWhich can be translated as “broken sun”. In contrast, the Nahua-speaking Aztecs used the term Tonatiuh KowaloWhich means “the sun is eaten.”
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Thanks to recent research, we know that when the new moon crosses the plane of Earth’s orbit, which happens on average every 177 days, it is eclipse season. In the above-mentioned records, written by the Maya, you can find tables and calendars divided into periods of 177 and 148 days, which relate to solar and lunar eclipses. This shows how well the people of that time understood the laws that govern our system. No wonder their civilization has survived for so many years.
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