Skip to comments.Native Americans Recorded Supernova Explosion
Posted on 06/05/2006 4:27:51 PM PDT by blam
Native Americans recorded supernova explosion
16:45 05 June 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Zeeya Merali and Kelly Young
The Arizonan petroglyph may depict the supernova of 1006 AD - the star symbol is on the right and the constellation Scorpius on the left (Image: John Barentine, Apache Point Observatory)
This double-sun petroglyph at Chaco Canyon National Monument in New Mexico may depict the supernova of 4 July 1054 (Image: Mark Lansing)
There are numerous examples of rock art in the Chaco Canyon National Monument depicting celestial objects (Image: Mark Lansing)
Prehistoric Native Americans may have carved a record of a supernova explosion that appeared in the skies a millennium ago into a rock in Arizona, US.
John Barentine, an astronomer at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, came across the carving while hiking in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Arizona.
It depicts a scorpion and an eight-pointed star. "I had just been reading about the supernova of AD 1006 and I knew it appeared in the constellation Scorpius, so the connection flashed into my mind."
To make his case, Barentine and his colleague Gilbert A. Esquerdo, at the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, used planetarium software to recreate the sky as it would have appeared in Arizona during the supernova's appearance and overlaid it with photographs from the site.
The supernova would have been brighter than a planet, and both it and the constellation - which is shaped like a scorpion - would have appeared just above the edge of the rock, in the same orientation depicted in the carvings. Native Americans populated the region during that period and often recorded objects thought to have magical powers, says Barentine.
"It's by no means conclusive, but I think it's strong circumstantial evidence that the art depicts the supernova," says Barentine. He announced his theory at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, on Monday.
The supernova was recorded by star watchers in Asia, the Middle-East and Europe. But until now, nobody thought that prehistoric Native Americans followed events in the sky. "I don't think enough credit has been given to the ancient Native Americans in the past, but that might change now," Barentine told New Scientist.
If the art does represent the supernova, it would provide a useful date to help work out the age of neighbouring rock carvings, which are difficult to assess by other methods, says Barentine.
But the White Tank Mountain is not the first suspected supernova petroglyph in North America. A petroglyph at Chaco Canyon National Monument in New Mexico may depict the supernova of 4 July 1054.
Another petroglyph at White Tank may also be a recording of the AD 1054 supernova. White Tank Mountain park ranger Mark Lansing says that petroglyph looks like colliding suns and is nestled in a back canyon along with pictures of other celestial objects.
"The AD 1006 petroglyph is a little more abstract," Lansing says of Barentine's find. "I'd seen his petroglyph but not really related it to the sky for 1006. He does show what the sky may have looked like in AD 1006."
Has to be the bottom science story of the month. Anyone who didn't see and note a bright new star is two arrows short of a quiver.
You might just be right.
Maybe it represnts what frogs look like when you throw them at a rock.
But how would the American Indians have known the constellation was "Scorpio"?
What I find interesting is the scorpion.
Why should the two continents have the same celestial imagery?
Then again, it just may be a really memorable 4th of July fireworks display.
Perhaps they threw a couple of scorpions on the grill, knocked back some "firewater" and next morning said,"man we had one supernova party last night"! :o)
...yeah, I know. It's a groaner.
How does one come to acquire such knowledge anyway?
It doesn't say how long the supernova might have been visible. Any idea?
"The remnant of this supernova was only rediscovered by radio astronomers in the 1960s."
LOL! Or what spiders look like when Garfield the cat is finished with them.
It wouldn't be the only time.
Ursa Major was known as the Bear to the American Indians as well as Greeks.
Or why Native Americans who lived 1000 years ago are "pre-historic"?
Does the fact the the Euopeans didn't know they existed make them prehistoric?
Why do we continue to discount that they had civilzations, histories, cultures = even observatories, long before we knew there were continents here.
When the white man came, they found cities that surpassed those in Europe - and astronomical observatories, planetary observations, calendars, predictions and a numerical system that surpassed that of the old world.
Even Chaco Canyon was a remarkable community where over 5000 people lived for a few hundred years. They observed the planets, kept track of the solstices, ...
We try to ignore the histories of the Native Americans because we haven't grown up enough yet to admit they were not just a bunch of wild savages whose lands we were meant to take thru' "manifest destiny."
My question as well.
Probably because Scorpio is one of the few constellations that actually looks like what it's suppose to be.
Maybe because the constellation is shaped like a scorpion, and scorpions were plentiful in the desert???
I assume that that was carried here by the Chuckchi (and related) derived immigrants. It was pretty widespread over Eurasia and probably rather old.
Hmmm.. I always thought 'prehistoric Native Americans' observed the sky closely. I've read many stories about pics on their stones that resemble astronaut, star ships, etc...
Never bought that one for a minute, even in my younger, more naive days.
And I've seen plenty of indications that the swasticka's distribution was also hand carried.
Observation over centuries - and the Native Americans lived WITH nature,not against it. They didn't punch a time clock, other that Mother Nature's and thus had time to observe and figure out that when something happened in the same way, in certain patterns, over and over - they could build on what they learned...
I'll have to check, but there are similarities in the name also.
And it doesn't look like a scorpion to me, it looks like a fish hook.
Part of the trick is defining the borders.
I was responding to post #6.
No lines in the sky, plenty of other stars and no one set the borders.
The 1006 supernova as imagined by astronomer Tunc Tezel to have been seen from a spot in what is now known as Turkey
From Wikipedia :
The 1006 Supernova was the highest relative magnitude stellar event in recorded history. First appearing in the constellation of Lupus between April 30 and May 1 of that year, this "guest star" was described by observers in Switzerland, Egypt, Iraq, China, and Japan. The Egyptian astrologer Ali bin Ridwan, writing in a commentary on Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, has left us the most complete historical description of the supernova. He says that the object was 2-1/2 to three times as large as the disc of Venus, and about one-quarter the brightness of the Moon, and, like all other observers, says that the star was low on the southern horizon. Monks at the Benedictine abbey at St. Gall broadly corroborate bin Ridwan's observations as to magnitude and location in the sky, additionally writing that "[i]n a wonderful manner this was sometimes contracted, sometimes diffused, and moreover sometimes extinguished." This last is often taken as proof that the supernova was of Type Ia. Some sources state that the star was bright enough to cast shadows; it was certainly seen during daylight hours for some time, and the modern-day astronomer Frank Winkler has said that "in the spring of 1006, people could probably have read manuscripts at midnight by its light."
There appear to have been two distinct phases to the observation of the supernova. There was first a three-month period at which it was at its brightest; after this period it diminished, then returned for a period of about eighteen months. While most astrologers interpreted the event as a portent of warfare and famine, it is worth noting that the Chinese astrologer Chou K'o-ming interpreted for the emperor that the star was actually an "auspicious star."
A petroglyph of the Hohokam has been discovered which may be the first known North American representation of the supernova.
Got to wonder why these ludicrous statements ever get outside the cubicle.
They also had commercial trade.
Cn you give me a f'r instance?
Wow what are the odds that American Indians in 1006 AD used the same name for a constellation?
Most likely because the Vedic culture influenced many cultures all over the world thousands of years ago.
Keres....iyatiku infants go there at death
Sumo....itoki receives souls of the dead
Maya tz'ek, hoa-tziquii cares for dead, woman with scorpion tail
oh, and just for fun:
Mesopotamian ...ishkhara guards gate to underworld, woman with scorpion tail
See my comment above. BTW, the Greeks learned their astronomy and astrology from the scholars of India.
First swastika was carved ino the underside of a bird figurine somewhere in what is now Russia, roughly 6000BC.
I'll look for a cite or site, my stuff is sort of packed away.
Is the ignorance of Native American cultures just ignorance or deliberate?
Aside from the observatories in Central America - there are the medicine wheels and many other archaeo-astronomical designs that capture the solstice suns, to mark the seasons....
the observatory at Chichen - Itza - excerpt from site (link: http://www.civilization.ca/civil/maya/mmc07eng.html )
(My daughter is going to the Yukatan to see Chichen Itza next week - envy envy)
from the link
"Of all the world's ancient calendar systems, the Maya and other Mesoamerican systems are the most complex, intricate and accurate. Calculations of the congruence of the 260-day and the 365-day Maya cycles is almost exactly equal to the actual solar year in the tropics, with only a 19-minute margin of error. Maya astronomer-priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or "codices". From these observations, the Maya developed calendars to keep track of celestial movements and the passage of time. The Maya also kept detailed records of the moon, although these do not seem to constitute a formal lunar calendar. With the aid of a forked stick, astronomer-priests used only the naked eye to take observations that allowed them to calculate the path of Venus and other celestial bodies. From the records of their observations they could calculate with precision events such as solar eclipses."
************ The Mayan's famous "Calendar Stone" (wrongly attributed to the Aztecs) prophecies about thirteen cycles of time - mostly now past - that end in Dec 2012...coinciding with the predictions of Nostradamus and Casey -
yep, those "prehistoric" savages were surely way behind us... /s
I"ve wondered that for decades - why isn't the rich history of the North American continents native civilizations taught in schools more than just as a passing glance -
Gibson is finally making a movie on one such civilization - the Mayans. Unfortunately, from what I've read, he is injecting the human sacrificing of other groups, like the Aztecs, that really isn't evident, only speculated because of the mind set of most archaeologists, as to the Mayan/
I see a record of the fabulous grudge match of the Scorpion (ctr. left) and the Tarantula ( ctr. low note the 8 legs) which was refereed by the Bull (ctr. rt.).
The smaller 8 legged figure just above the Bull and the Tarantula was the ring girl.
The stick figure to the rt. of the Bull indicates that they are in round two. Note the open triangle representing the priceless World Bug Trophy.
Anyone who has done the sacred Peyote knows this. Just ask Carlos Castenada, he saw it all.
They certainly did - Took us years to finally be able to decode them -
"writing system of the Pre-Columbian New World that can completely represent spoken language to the same degree as the written language of the old world. ...........Folding tree books were made from fig tree bark and placed in royal tombs. Unfortunately, many of these books did not survive the humidity of the tropics or the invasion of the Spanish, who regarded the symbolic writing as the work of the devil. "
and they burned all they could find.
If you count Egyptian hieroglyphics as writing then all the hieroglyphics from here should count too.
The evidence of Mayan sacrifice and following Venus as a war god is quite compelling.
In school I was taught the Mayan were a very peaceful utopian society.
Umm -- because the first thing that comes to mind when you view that part of the sky is a scorpion, with its curled tail and pincers?
here's another try
Actually, I stick to the dates in the Vedas themselves. Did you know that one of the Vedic sages (was it Atri?) descibed a stellar event which I cannot for the life of me remember, which computers have now figured out happened 26,000 years ago?
Here, take a look:
Geoff's Photography - Scorpio, Mars and the Milky Way
Besides, the names and myths are also similar.
No, can you give a little more info so I can google?
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