Maya astronomers had a remarkably accurate knowledge of the
apparent motion of Venus
. They knew on what day Venus would
appear again in the east after it had disappeared in the
Moreover, they knew that every 2920 days (about eight
years) Venus repeats its movements in relation to the sun.
Mayans determined with great approximation the synodic
period of Venus, which according to modern astronomers is
583.92 days. For the Mayans, it was 584 days!
The ancient Mayans used the doorways and windows of their
buildings as astronomical sightings, especially of Venus.
At Uxmal, for instance, all buildings are aligned in the
Mayans offered numerous human
sacrifices to Venus and the Sun. Venus was the patron planet of warfare for the Mayans. That is why the dates of
several battles are connected with a key position of Venus cycle.
From the historian Sahagun we know that when Venus (the
morning star) rose, people stopped up their chimneys so that
no harm from its light could get into their houses.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more
Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
According tho the Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the misbehavior of the mischievous deity, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars...more