Maya cosmology and 2012

The night sky has inspired cultures throughout history to come up with many versions of creation.

The Mayas went one step further and predicted the end of the world this December.

They believed in cycles of creation and destruction. According to the Maya calendar, a cycle is 394 years and every 13th cycle the world will end. The last time this happened was 3114 BC. The next time will be December 23, 2012.

At the Feb. 10 meeting of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers, Ian McGregor from the Royal Ontario Museum will talk about Maya cosmology and 2012, at 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium at the Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid St. Admission is free, there are door prizes and an optional donation of nonperishable food items will be collected for local food banks.

If you miss his talk, you can see the ROM’s newest exhibit, “Maya: Secrets of the Ancient World,” which runs until April 9. For more information, see www.rom.on.ca/maya.

Here are February stargazer events. Most are listed in the more optimistic Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.

Mercury can be seen at the end of the month low in the western evening sky. Venus is in the southwest and sets early evening. Mars rises in the east mid-evening and is high in the south by 3 a.m. Jupiter is high in the south west after dark and sets in the northwest before midnight. Saturn rises in the east after 11 p.m. Uranus is in the southwest during early evening and sets in the west around 9 p.m.
Feb. 7: The full moon this month is called the snow moon.

Feb. 9: Uranus and Venus are extremely close in the evening sky. You can see Uranus as a green dot in a telescope. The moon is also below Mars in the late evening.

Feb. 10: For the next two weeks you can see the zodiacal light in the western evening sky. This is caused by sunlight reflecting off debris in the solar system. The moon is also at perigee or closet to the Earth for the month at 387,919 kilometres.

Feb. 12: There is a spectacular grouping of the moon, Spica and Saturn in the morning sky.

Feb. 14: The quarter moon celebrates Valentines Day.

Feb. 25: The crescent moon is above Venus in the evening sky.

Feb. 26: The crescent moon is above Jupiter during the evening.

Feb. 28: The moon is just below the Pleiades star cluster in the evening sky.

Feb. 27: Moon at apogee or furthest from the Earth for the month at 404,862 kilometres.

Feb. 29: Quarter moon.

For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at www.amateurastronomy.org or call 905-627-4323.

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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3 Responses to Maya cosmology and 2012

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