Mérida, Yucatán, (June 17, 2021).- “Next Sunday, June 20th, archaeoastronomical phenomena related to the summer solstice will be recorded in different Maya archaeological sites along the Peninsula, among which the bisection of El Castillo de Chichén Itzá stands out”, revealed the Yucatecan astronomer Eddie Ariel Salazar Gamboa.
It will also be the longest day of the year, with a duration of just over 14 hours and the Sun will have its maximum declination to the North.
The Professor, who was distinguished with the Teacher Award of the State of Yucatán 2021 commented that every four years, the end of spring and the beginning of summer begins on June 20, as will happen this year, since the previous one happened in 2017 and the next one will be in 2025.
On this occasion, the maximum inclination of the Earth will be recorded at 10:33 p.m. in Yucatán, so both on Sunday 20 and Monday 21, the Sun will have a maximum declination of 23 degrees 26 minutes, this is an astronomical concept that the Mayas used to mark their respective calendars.
The academic from the Technological Institute of Mérida (ITM) mentioned that on Sunday 20, the Sun rises at 6:17 a.m. and will hide at 7:42 p.m., but when adding the 24 minutes that morning twilight lasts, and a similar figure for the evening, so the day would have a duration of 14 hours and 13 minutes, therefore, the darkness will be nine hours and 47 minutes.
As for archaeoastronomical phenomena, they will occur in buildings in various pre-Columbian cities, but the most prominent is the bisection of El Castillo de Chichén Itzá, which will occur between 6:30 and 7:00.
At dawn, the Sun will illuminate the North and East sides of the pre-Hispanic building while the South and West parts will be in darkness, stressed the emeritus professor of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY).
That is, 50 percent of the pyramid was fully illuminated, and the rest, in shadows.
He recalled that on June 22, 2007, the current director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) -Yucatán, Federica Sodi Miranda, announced that the effect observed was a “new archaeoastronomical discovery”.
“I discovered this event 11 years ago, and it was in 2007 when the INAH confirmed this archaeoastronomical phenomenon, under the commitment to promote it since El Castillo marks the beginning of the four seasons of the year”, said the coordinator of the Astronomy Group ” Hypatia of Alexandria ”from the ITM.
He expressed that the archaeoastronomical phenomenon of the summer solstice, which determined the best days for agricultural activities, for which he highlighted the importance of the event for the pre-Columbian Maya.
“It allowed a greater use of sunlight for their agricultural activities in addition to the rainy season,” he explained.
He added that this natural phenomenon marks the maximum declination (approach) of the Sun towards the North, which is 23º30 ‘of arc, that is, “the Earth was totally inclined and if we could see it from space, it would have that angle of inclination”.
The winner of the “Jaguar del Turismo 2020” award from the Mexican Association of the Tourism Industry (AMIT) Yucatán regretted that these events are wasted to promote this archaeological zone, which is a World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.