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( to be conducted in English)
Speaker: Dr. Jesús Galindo (Archaeoastronomist, expert on Pre-Hispanic Mexico and Maya civilization)
Date: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Time: 6:45 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Venue: Stanley Ho Space Theatre, Hong Kong Space Museum

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Free Admission.
Limited Seats.
 

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Speaker introduction: 
Click here

Synopsis of the lecture:
Mayas built great buildings and outlined splendid cities. The choice of where their settlements were founded had to do with criteria regarding the conditions of survival like the proximity to supplies of food and water. This also took into account situations of security against possible attacks by enemy groups. However, also ideological aspects were considered related to the surrounding landscape, especially with the day and night sky. The Mayas made ​​ careful records of astronomical observations which were written on their pictorical manuscripts. They developed a very accurate version of the Mesoamerican calendar. The ruling class of Maya society, by means of a profound knowledge of the calendrical system, was able to justify and consolidate its position of political power against a people who recognized the action of the gods through the earthly works of its leaders. This talk briefly shows the important role played by Astronomy in the cultural evolution of the Maya. 

Brief introduction of the planetarium show "Tales of the Maya Skies"
The Maya made sense of an ever-changing world by observing, recording and predicting natural events such as solstices, solar eclipses, weather patterns, and planetary movements. These observations, in combination with a sophisticated mathematical system, allowed them to develop a precise calendar system; their measurements of the length of the solar year were more accurate than measurements the Europeans used as the basis of the Gregorian calendar. The Maya also predicted eclipses, were able to forecast seasonal change and developed the concept of mathematical zero, enabling them to predict events into the future.
Recent deciphering of the Maya hieroglyphics is providing archeologists with new and exciting discoveries. Using three dimensional laser scanning and advanced graphic techniques, the virtual reconstruction of architecture in Tales of the Maya Skies also supports these archeologists in interpreting the ancient sites, and contributes to their conservation.
Produced by Chabot Space & Science Center, Tales of the Maya Skies inspires and educates through its description of the Mayaˇ¦s accurate astronomical achievements and how astronomy connected them to the Universe.

Official website of the show: http://www.mayaskies.org/

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