In a public talk in front of the Great Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza, Berkeley Lab's Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist George Smoot discusses the remarkable precision that ancient Mayan astronomers achieved solely with the naked eye and comments on the significance of the approaching end of the current World Age of the 5,000-year-long Mayan Long-Count Calendar, due to conclude on the 2012 winter solstice. No, the end of the world is not at hand, Smoot says, but it's true that we're undergoing a fantastic transition in cosmology. The Mayan view of the universe was based on the sun and moon, a handful of planets, and a couple of thousand stars. Ours is an evolving cosmos reaching back over 13 billion years, based on a cornucopia of data accumulating almost daily and including hundreds of billions of galaxies. (#23616)
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K-12 Educational Standards
Standards for Grade(s): 7
World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times
7.7 Students compare and contrast the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the Meso-American and Andean civilizations.
Standards for Grade(s): 9-12
EarthÆs Place in the Universe
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