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The Mayan Calendar and the Winter Solstice

  1. Sep 25, 2009 #1
    I have been working on a c program that ties the mayan calendar to our gregorian calendar.

    Running the program starting from (13 baktun) on the mayan and december 21 on the gregorian, the next time 13 baktun occurs on the winter solstice is 266519 years in the future.

    This is exactly 52 cycles of the mayan long count calendar.

    The program can follow the winter solstice billions of years into the future with the mayan calendar.

    As the program advances into the far future the winter solstice falls at later and later dates.

    In 2.5 million years the winter solstice will appear around january 1st.

    I ran the program all day today and and the winter solstice started on december 21 2012 and went all the way around our calendar to december 21 again.

    I just added a counter to count the years for the full cycle.

    It will take another day of running to count the billions of years it will take to complete.

    It also keeps track of the number of cycles of the mayan calendar.

    Will post the results later.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know much about the cycles of the Mayan calendar, but note that 52 is also the number of weeks in a year. Intriguing or just a mundane mathematical coincidence?

    Also note that the winter solstice isn't always on December 21. The winter solstice is not a day, it is a point in time when the earth's north pole is pointed directly away from the sun. Because the earth's orbit is an ellipse, it moves around. Worse, since the orientation of the poles precess, our calendar uses the pole orientation instead of the sun's position against the fixed stars to align the calendar.

    Here's an article about the issue: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=41 [Broken]

    And did you include leap years...?

    So really, that's pretty meaningless.

    And I hope you're not trying to justify a 2012 conspiracy theory here, because they aren't allowed here....
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Sep 25, 2009 #3
    I just wanted to point out to the readers that the mayan calendar is a useful and extremely accurate tool to follow the cycles of the sun.

    I am studying the cycles of venus so I can fit it into the program to see how the cycles fall on the mayan calendar.
  5. Sep 26, 2009 #4
    I forgot to mention that my gregorian calendar is ultra precise and keeps track of leap years perfectly.

    year equally divisible by 4 leap=1

    year equally divisible by 100 leap=0

    year equally divisible by 400 leap=1

    year equally divisible by 4000 leap=0
  6. Sep 26, 2009 #5
    Another thing I need to add is that a cycle on the mayan calendar is 1872000 days.

    Multiply this by 52 cycles and you get 97344000 days.

    Divide 97344000 days by 266519 years and you get:


    A tropical year exactly.

    A tropical year is from winter solstice to winter solstice.
  7. Sep 26, 2009 #6
    wiki gives

    winter solstice year = 365.24274049 days

    This is not the Gregorian calendar year. This is not the mean tropical year. The MTY is currently getting smaller. The winter solstice year will change as the Earth precesses.
  8. Sep 26, 2009 #7
    Sorry if the numbers are slightly off but I am just giving you the figures from running my program.

    The mayan calendar just counts the days.

    The gregorian calendar converts the days to years.

    Just finished running my program again.

    The winter solstice advanced from dec. 21 2012 to dec. 21 125,794,956.

    This was 24,544 cycles of the mc.

    472 cycles of 52.

    24,544 times 1,872,000 days = 45,946,368,000 days.

    125,796,968 years by the gregorian. (I thought it would take billions.)

    45,946,368,000 days divided by 125,796,968 years = 365.242252897....

    A complete rotation around the calendar of the winter solstice.

    Please feel free to check my work on a calculator.

    If you can write the software that would be even better.
    It is a fairly simple program but you better have a fast computer.

    If you can explain why the winter solstice advances please do.
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