Archive for category 2012 Phenomena

The Mayan Calendar

Will the world end in 2012? No, it won’t.

Will there be a major cataclysm in 2012? Quite possibly.

Although this book concentrates on a potential global catastrophe at a random date within our immediate future, the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar is a powerful argument for that date being Dec 21, 2012.

The Maya

The Maya civilisation inhabited a region encompassing southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize & western Honduras, and flourished between the third and tenth centuries AD, but by 1200 AD their society had collapsed for reasons we can only guess at. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, descendants still occupied the area, and still spoke the Mayan language, but were unaware of the cities their forefathers had created.

It wasn’t until the late 18th century that explorers first investigated the dense Guatemalan rainforest and came across plazas, monoliths, temples and pyramids, each decorated with pictures and hieroglyphs. The ancient Maya had been keeping historical records – using a script which mixed ideographic and phonetic elements. Some of their writing still exists on stelae (stone monuments) that recount civil events and record their calendric and astronomical knowledge.

Spanish Conquest

Diego de Landa was a Spanish priest who visited Mexico on a charitable mission, became the Franciscan provincial of Yucatán in 1561 and is infamous for his destruction of priceless Maya documents and artefacts.

Although Landa was very interested in the Mayan culture, he abhorred certain aspects of their practices, particularly human sacrifice. In July 1562, when evidence of human sacrifice was found in a cave containing sacred Maya statues, a bout of religious self-righteousness saw Landa order the destruction of five thousand idols. He decided that their books were also the devil’s work and saw to it that they were burned, with only three books surviving. Consequently the majority of Mayan knowledge and history was lost.

Yet despite his actions, we are also indebted to Landa for his acute and intelligent opus on Mayan life and religion, Relación de las cosas de Yucatán (1566), which remains the classical text on Mayan civilisation. This book, which was not printed until 1864, provided a phonetic alphabet that made it possible to decipher roughly one-third of the remaining Mayan hieroglyphs.

The most important of the surviving books was what is now called the Dresden Codex, named after the city where it was lodged. It is a strange book, inscribed with hieroglyphs, which no one understood until 1880. At that time Ernst FØrstemann, a German scholar who worked at the same Dresden library, managed to crack the code of the Mayan calendar making it possible for other academics to translate the many dated inscriptions found on buildings, stelae and other ancient Mayan artefacts.

He discovered that the Codex contained detailed astrological tables, which calculated the year to be 365.2420 days long, more accurate than the Julian calendar that we use today. The tables were used exclusively by the Mayan astronomers to predict the solstices and equinoxes, the path of the planets in our solar system, the cycles of Venus and Mars, and other celestial phenomena.

Other information we have today has been gleaned from the Popol Vuh and Chilam Balam – books written just after the Spanish arrived. The knowledge found in these books and codices, combined with the uncovering of mysterious pyramids, demonstrate that the Maya had knowledge to rival the Greeks and Egyptians.

Mayan Calendar

The life of the Maya revolved around the concept of time. Priests were consulted on civil, agricultural and religious matters, and their advice would be derived from readings of the sacred calendars. Time was of such importance that children were even named after the date on which they were born.

Maya math uses only three symbols – a shell-shaped glyph for zero, a dot for one and a bar for five to represent units from zero to 19. For instance, the number 13 was represented as three dots and two bars.

Zero was an advanced concept in those days, something that the Romans were not aware of. Yet the Maya were comfortable enough with it to use a shell as its symbol, a tangible object representing an abstract concept. The Maya also used metrical calculation and place numeration, which were very clever for a culture that didn’t use the wheel!

Although they had many calendars, they marked the passage of time with three cycles that ran in parallel.

The first is the scared calendar known as the Tzolkin. It combines the numbers from 1 through 13 with a sequence of 20 day-names. It works in a similar manner to our named days of the week, and their date within each month. So you might have 5-Chikchan (like our Sunday the 5th) followed by 6-Kimi (as we would have Monday the 6th). After 260 days the same number/name combination will re-occur, and the calendar starts anew. Their use of the vigesimal (base 20) numbering system probably relates to fingers and toes, whereas the 13 nicely fits the growth phase of the moon which isn’t visible when new and appears full for two days on end, thus appearing to have a 13 day growth cycle. Alternatively, the length of the Tzolkin may be related to the human gestation period of nine months (273 days). It has been suggested that 260 days is the time between a woman suspecting her pregnancy (she doesn’t menstruate) and when she gives birth.

The second is the agricultural calendar known as the Haab, or vague year. It consists of 18 months, each of 20 days. An addition of a five-day month (a period of apprehension and bad luck named Uayeb) gives us 365 days, an approximation of a year. This calendar’s primary purpose was to keep track of the seasons, for seasonal and solar events would occur on roughly the same day of each year. The Maya were aware of the annual quarter day discrepancy, but it is not known if they ever did anything about it.

These two independently running calendars each begin again every 260 and 360+5 days. However, every 52 years they coincide:

“The Tzolkin and the Haab ran concurrently, like intermeshed cog-wheels, and to return to any given date, 52 years, or 18,980 days, would have to elapse (because both 365 x 52 and 260 x 73 = 18,980). In other words, the Tzolkin would make 73 revolutions and the Haab 52, so that every 52 calendar years of 365 days one would return to the same date. A complete date in this 52-year cycle might be, for example, 2 1k 0 Pop (2 1k being the position of the day in the Tzolkin, 0 Pop the position in the Haab). Fifty-two years would pass before another 2 1k 0 Pop date returned.

It was expected that the world would end at the completion of a 52-year cycle. At this time, among the Mexica in the Valley of Mexico, all fires were extinguished, pregnant women were locked up lest they be turned into wild animals, children were pinched to keep them awake so that they would not turn into mice, and all pottery was broken in preparation for the end of the world. In the event the gods decided to grant man another 52 years of life on earth, however, a night time ceremony was held in which the populace followed the priests through the darkness over a causeway to the top of an old extinct volcano that rises abruptly from the floor of the basin of Mexico, known today as the Hill of the Star, the hill above Ixtapalapa. There, with all eyes on the stars, they awaited the passage of the Pleiades across the center of the heavens, which would announce the continuation of the world for another 52 years. When the precise moment came, a victim was quickly sacrificed by making a single gash in his chest and extracting the still palpitating heart. In the gory cavity the priests, with a fire drill, kindled a new flame that was quickly carried by torches across the lake to the temple in Tenochititlan, and from there to all temples and villages around the lake. This was known as the New Fire Ceremony among the Mexica, and in some way this same completion and renewal of each 52-year cycle was recognized by all Mesoamericans.”[i]

This is not unlike how the end of the last millennium may have felt for many Christians or doomsday cult followers.

Our modern Western calendar was first introduced in Europe in 1582. It was based upon the Gregorian calendar, which calculated the Earth’s orbit to take 365.25 days. This was 0.0003 of a day per year too much, but still exceptionally accurate for scientists living over 400 years ago.

The Mayan calendars were derived from those of their predecessors, the Olmec, whose culture dates back at least 3,000 years. Without the instruments of 16th century Europe, these Central American locals managed to calculate a solar year of 365.2420 days, just 0.0002 of a day short. More accurate than the Europeans, and much earlier. It is not known if the Olmecs created the Long Count calendar, or if they received it from an even earlier civilisation…

The Long Count

A Mayan date utilises three calendars. The third calendar, known as the “long count”, is a continuous record of days that starts over every 5000 years or so. The current Long Count began in 3114 BC. And it will end very soon.

A typical Mayan date looks like this:, 3 Cimi 4 Zotz

4 Zotz is the Haab date.

3 Cimi is the Tzolkin date. is the Long Count date.

The basic unit is the kin (day), which is the last component of the Long Count. Going from right to left the remaining components are:

  • unial……..1 unial = 20 kin = 20 days
  • tun……….1 tun = 18 unial = 360 days = approx. 1 year
  • katun…….1 katun = 20 tun = 7,200 days = approx. 20 years
  • baktun…..1 baktun = 20 katun = 144,000 days = approx. 394 years

The kin, tun, and katun are numbered from 0 to 19.

The unial are numbered from 0 to 17.

The baktun are numbered from 1 to 13.

The Long Count is a great cycle of 13 baktuns (roughly 5,126 years), where the use of 13 may again represent the growth of the moon from new to full. The current cycle began on 4 Ahau 8 Cumku which correlates to Aug. 13, 3114 BC.

In Mayan mythology each Long Count cycle is a world age in which the gods attempt to create pious and subservient creatures.

The First Age began with the creation of the Earth, and it had upon it vegetation and living beings. Unfortunately, because they lacked speech, the birds and animals were unable to pay homage to the gods and were destroyed. In the Second and Third Ages the gods created humans of mud and then wood, but these also failed to please and were wiped out. We are currently in the Fourth and Final Age, the age of the modern, fully functional human. Is it possible that these Ages referred to evolutionary change? If they did, then what might occur when the current age finishes on December 21, 2012?

[i] Weaver, Muriel Porter. The Aztecs, Maya, and their Predecessors. (1972) Seminar Press, p.103-4

Note on massive spans of time

Although they are not part of the Long Count, the Mayas had calculated larger time spans, some so long that only modern day scientists would ever use them, and suggesting that perhaps the ancient Maya were aware of something we have yet to discover for ourselves.

1 pictun = 20 baktun = 2,880,000 days = approx. 7885 years

1 calabtun = 20 pictun = 57,600,000 days = approx. 158,000 years

1 kinchiltun = 20 calabtun = 1,152,000,000 days = approx. 3 million years

1 alautun = 20 kinchiltun = 23,040,000,000 days = approx. 63 million years

Note on Correlation

This book uses a correlation between the Gregorian and Maya calendars known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson (GMT) correlation, which places the long count katun ending 13 Ahau 8 Xul on 14 November 1539 (Gregorian). Another less popular correlation has the Long Count ending two days later on Dec 23, 2012, and for our purposes makes a negligible difference. A further 50 or more different correlations have been calculated; some by non-academics, usually based on disputing which similar astronomical events occurred in which year. The GMT is generally accepted by academics because it has been proven with carbon dating, and because it is still in use by modern day Quich¾ Maya

NASA Tangkal Rumor Kiamat 2012

NASA Tangkal Rumor Kiamat 2012 Badan Luar Angkasa AS, NASA, menegaskan ramalan bahwa kiamat akan terjadi pada 21 Desember 2012 tidak berdasar. NASA dengan gencar melakukan kampanye kecil-kecilan untuk menangkal rumor yang sudah cukup lama beredar. Bahkan beberapa film mengenai kiamat 2012 ini telah menginsirasi Hollywood.

Terakhir, Sony Pictures, meluncurkan film dengan judul “2012″ yang mulai diputar di bioskop-bioskop AS. Film itu memakan biaya produksi mencapai 200 juta dolar, yang inti ceritanya didasarkan pada penanggalan suku Maya yang memperhitungkan kiamat akan datang pada 2012.

Skenario hari kiamat, menurut suku Maya, adalah planer X atau yang disebut juga Nibiru akan menghantam bumi. Rumor yang beredar melalui internet menyebutkan planet misterius ini ditemukan oleh Bangsa Sumeria. Pendapat yang kemudian didukung oleh serentetan ilmuwan palsu dan paranormal.

Beberapa situs bahkan menuduh NASA berusaha menutup-nutupi keberadaan planet misterius yang mengancam bumi, namun pihak NASA menegaskan bahwa rumor yang beredar itu hanyalah bualan belaka. “Tidak ada dasar fakta yang jelas bahwa ada planet misterius yang mengancam bumi,” demikian pernyataan NASA yang dipampang pada situsnya.

Seperti dikutip di situs NASA, jika memang benar akan terjadi tubrukan, para astronom paling tidak bisa melihatnya sejak satu dasawarsa lalu. Dan jika memanga da planet yang bergerak mendekat ke bumi, hal itu bahkan bisa dilihat dengan mata telanjang. “Jelas hal semacam itu tidak sedang terjadi.”

NASA mengklaim para ilmuwan di seluruh dunia yang meneliti angkasa luar tidak melihat adanya ancaman yang besar yang akan terjadi pada bumi pada 2012. Planet bumi alias planet biru yang dihuni manusia ini telah bertahan selama lebih dari 4 miliar tahun.

Pengamatan luar angkasa memang sebelumnya telah mendeteksi keberadaan planet Eris, ditemukan pada 2005 oleh astronom AS, mengambang di luar angkasa. Namun planet mungil dengan suhu sangat dingin dan berukura sedikit lebih besar planet pluto ini diperkirakan NASA akan tetap berada di luar tata surya kita, dan tidak akan berjarak lebih dekat dari 6,4 miliar kilometer dari bumi.

Saat ini di berbagai toko buku di seluruh dunia bisa dengan mudah ditemukan buku-buku yang memuat ramalan suku Maya itu. Ramalan sebelumnya menyebutkan kiamat akan terjadi pada May 2003, namun ketika pada saat itu tidak ada yang terjadi, tanggal ramalan kemudian direka-reka lagi menjadi 2012.

Bahkan kalender penanggalan suku Maya tidak berakhir pada 21 Desember 2012, melainkan ada periode lagi sesudahnya. Dan penanggalan itu bahkan menyebutkan tidak ada posisi planet yang sejajar dalam beberapa dekade mendatang.

Jika adanya planet-planet yang berbaris sejajar seperti yang diramalkan sebagian orang itu benar terjadi, maka dampaknya pun tidak signifikan terhadap bumi.

NASA juga siap membuktikan bahwa ramalan mengenai badai geomagnetik, berbaliknya kutub-kutub bumi atau ketidakstabilan kerak bumi akan menghancurkan bumi tidak benar adanya.

Ada beberapa mitos yang menyebutkan bahwa rotasi bumi dan kutub magnet bumi memiliki hubungan, dengan bergantinya kutub magnetik bumi setiap 400 ribu tahun.

“Sejauh yang kita ketahui perubahan magnet itu tidak berbahaya terhadap kehidupan di planet bumi. Mereka juga berpandangan bahwa berbaliknya rotasi bumi sebagais esuatu yang mustahil. Perubahan berbaliknya medan magnet bumi juga dipandang tidak akan terjadi dalam beberapa milenium mendatang.

Sementara komet dan asteroid yang menabrak bumi merupakan sesuatu yang sering terjadi, namun tubrukan yang besar amat jarang terjadi. Terakhir kali kejadian itu berdampak apa bumi adalah pada 65 juta tahun silam, yang diduga menjadi penyebab punahnya dinosaurus.

“Kita cukup yakin tidak ada asteroid yang mengancam bumi yang bisa membuat dampak seperti 65 juta taun silam,” demikian keterangan NASA.

Peneliti Lapan: Fenomena 2012 Siklus 11 Tahunan

JAKARTA (ANTARA News) – Fenomena meningkatnya aktivitas matahari yang menurut ramalan suku Maya terjadi tahun 2012 dan filmnya heboh diperbincangkan masyarakat itu hanyalah siklus tahunan yang tidak perlu dikhawatirkan apalagi dihubung-hubungkan dengan datangnya hari kiamat.Peneliti astronomi dan astrofisik Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional (Lapan) yang baru saja dikukuhkan sebagai profesor riset Indonesia, Dr Thomas Djamaluddin Msc, menyatakan bahwa tidak ada yang istimewa dari fenomena alam 2012 itu karena hanyalah siklus 11 tahunan meningkatnya aktivitas matahari.

“Fenomena 2012 yang menghebohkan masyarakat lebih banyak berawal dari ramalan suku Maya, bukan berasal dari alasan ilmiah. Jadi kemudian orang mengait-kaitkan. Kalau kemudian memang ada fenomena 2012 alasan ilmiahnya apa? Tapi yang lebih banyak diungkapkan justru bukan sainsnya,” kata Thomas usai dikukuhkan sebagai profesor riset di kantor Lapan Jakarta, Rabu.

Menurut Thomas, fenomena aktivitas puncak matahari sebelumnya diperkirakan terjadi pada 2011, namun titik minimumnya bergeser sehingga diperkirakan terjadi pada 2012. Namun, sekarang pun ada pergeseran lagi sehingga kemungkinan terjadi pada 2013.

Dan secara alamiah, tegas Thomas, hal itu tidak ada yang istimewa karena itu merupakan siklus 11 tahunan. “Terakhir itu kan 1989 kemudian di berikutnya tahun 2000, dan nanti 2012 atau 2013 akan terjadi lagi.”

Orang kemudian mengkhawatirkan akan terjadi badai matahari, padahal tidak akan ada badai matahari dahyat yang menimbulkan dampak parah.

Badai matahari itu pada dasarnya adalah fenomena bumi yang sering terjadi bukan saja saat aktivitas matahari mencapai puncak, tetapi saat aktivitas mulai naik hingga turun lagi tetap ada badai matahari.

Artinya memang frekuensi kejadiannya itu lebih banyak pada saat puncak. Tetapi, menurut Thomas, kekuatan terbesarnya belum tentu pada saat puncak. Sering kali yang paling kuat justru setelah puncak.

“Katakan puncak yang lalu terjadi di tahun 2000, tetapi aktivitas matahari yang paling besar, yang paling kuat justru terjadi pada tahun 2003,” katanya.

Perbincangan fenomena aktivitas matahari ini juga berkembang, yang kemudian dikaitkan lagi dengan seolah-olah akan ada tumbukan komet.

“Itu juga secara astronomi tidak ada buktinya. Tidak ada informasi atau perkiraan akan ada komet besar yang menabrak bumi pada 2012. Kemudian ada lagi yang memperkirakan ada planet Nibiru, padahal planet Nibiru tidak dikenal dalam astronomi,” jelas Thomas.

Berbagai perbincangan mengenai fenomena 2012, seperti seolah-olah berdasarkan teori astronomi akan ada asteroit besar yang akan menghantam bumi. Semua itu tidak sama sekali tidak punya dasar atau tidak ada alasan astronominya.

“Jadi pada dasarnya kekhawatiran 2012 itu lebih banyak pada kekhawatiran itu terkait dengan penafsiran ramalan suku Maya, dan oleh suku Maya sendiri oleh ketua adanya sudah menyatakan bahwa 2012 itu bukan akhir dan itu hanyalah pergantian item kalender yang biasa,” kata dia.

Menurut Thomas, dampak dari badai matahari yang ditimbulkan dari percikan partikel matahari dan menimbulkan medan magnit itu selama ini hanya berdampak pada keberadaan satelit di orbit dan terhadap transformer fasilitas jaringan listrik.

Badai matahari dapat menimbulkan induksi ke fasilitas jaringan listrik sehingga terjadi kelebihan beban dan bisa menyebabkan trafo meledak atau terbakar.

Dalam orasi ilmiahnya pada pengukuhannya sebagai profesor riset bersama Dr Ir Chunaeni Latief Msc, Thomas juga menyatakan bahwa wilayah Indonesia yang dilalui garis ekuator cukup panjang sangat rentan menjadi tempat jatuhnya sampah antariksa yang sekarang kian banyak.

“Problem sampah antariksa itu kan semakin lama semakin banyak. Yang terpantau oleh sistem jaringan pemantau internasional ada sekitar 13 ribu lebih dan ancamannya bisa mengganggu satelit aktif. Dan salah satunya pernah, sampah antariksa bekas satelitnya rusia menabrak satelit aktif karena semakin banyak satelit di antariksa kemungkinan bertabrakan semakin besar,” katanya.

Indonesia yang berada di garis ekuator kemungkinan terkena risiko jatuhnya sampah antariksa lebih besar dibanding kawasan lainnya. Oleh karena itu Indonesia harus selalu waspada karena berada pada wilayah yang sering dilalui orbit satelit.

Hal itu harus menjadi perhatian Lapan dalam memberikan pelayanan informasi potensi bahaya benda jatuh dari antariksa sehingga kemungkinan terjadi hal-hal yang tidak diinginkan dapat dinetralisir, demikian Thomas Djamaluddin.

Bersama Thomas, peneliti Lapan Dr Ir Chunaeni Latief Msc juga dikukuhkan sebagai profesor riset dalam bidang Opto Elektronika dan Aplikasi Laser. Dalam orasinya ia lebih mencermati mengenai kandungan dan efek emisi gas rumah kaca (CO2) dan pemanfaatan instumensi Satklim LPN-1A untuk penelitiannya yang bermanfaat bagi dunia penerbangan, kajian global warming, dan lain-lain.(*)


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