Evidence of Eta Aquariid outbursts recorded in the classic Maya hieroglyphic script using orbital integrations
J.H. Kinsman and D.J. Asher
Planet. Space Sci., 144, 112-125 (2017)
No firm evidence has existed that the ancient Maya civilization recorded
specific occurrences of meteor showers or outbursts in the corpus of Maya
hieroglyphic inscriptions. In fact, there has been no evidence of any
pre-Hispanic civilization in the Western Hemisphere recording any
observations of any meteor showers on any specific dates.
The authors numerically integrated meteoroid-sized particles released by
Comet Halley as early as 1404 BC to identify years within the Maya Classic
Period, AD 250--909, when Eta Aquariid outbursts might have occurred.
Outbursts determined by computer model were then compared to specific events
in the Maya record to see if any correlation existed between the date of the
event and the date of the outburst. The model was validated by successfully
explaining several outbursts around the same epoch in the Chinese record.
Some outbursts observed by the Maya were due to recent revolutions of Comet
Halley, within a few centuries, and some to resonant behavior in older Halley
trails, of the order of a thousand years. Examples were found of several
different Jovian mean motion resonances as well as the 1:3 Saturnian
resonance that have controlled the dynamical evolution of meteoroids in
apparently observed outbursts.
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