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Native Americans Recorded Supernova Explosion
New Scientist ^ | 6-5-2006 | Zeeya Merali - Kelly Young

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.

Star watchers

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."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: americans; archaeoastronomy; catastrophism; explosion; godsgravesglyphs; megaliths; native; recorded; supernova
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1 posted on 06/05/2006 4:27:53 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 06/05/2006 4:29:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

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.


3 posted on 06/05/2006 4:30:42 PM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: gcruse

You might just be right.


4 posted on 06/05/2006 4:32:29 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: blam
I'm not sure I get it. Are people shocked that supernovas seen in Europe were visible over the American continent too? Or are they just amazed that the American Indians were able to tilt their heads up and, you know, see them?
5 posted on 06/05/2006 4:35:05 PM PDT by Antonello (Oh my God, don't shoot the banana!)
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To: blam

Maybe it represnts what frogs look like when you throw them at a rock.


6 posted on 06/05/2006 4:35:52 PM PDT by giobruno
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To: blam
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."

But how would the American Indians have known the constellation was "Scorpio"?

7 posted on 06/05/2006 4:37:38 PM PDT by thoughtomator (A thread without a comment on immigration is not complete)
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To: Antonello; blam

What I find interesting is the scorpion.

Why should the two continents have the same celestial imagery?


8 posted on 06/05/2006 4:44:33 PM PDT by From many - one.
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To: blam

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.


9 posted on 06/05/2006 4:46:30 PM PDT by Rhetorical pi2
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To: giobruno

How does one come to acquire such knowledge anyway?


10 posted on 06/05/2006 4:47:59 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: Antonello
are they just amazed that the American Indians were able to tilt their heads up and, you know, see them?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Well duh.
11 posted on 06/05/2006 4:48:32 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: blam

It doesn't say how long the supernova might have been visible. Any idea?


12 posted on 06/05/2006 4:49:00 PM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!!!)
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To: blam
Supernova 1006 AD

"The remnant of this supernova was only rediscovered by radio astronomers in the 1960s."

13 posted on 06/05/2006 4:49:22 PM PDT by blam
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To: giobruno

LOL!


14 posted on 06/05/2006 4:52:15 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Never forget Matt Maupin)
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To: giobruno

LOL! Or what spiders look like when Garfield the cat is finished with them.


15 posted on 06/05/2006 4:56:14 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Dear US Senators, Reps. and Mr. President: Why are y'all abetting the destruction of our culture?)
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To: From many - one.
Why should the two continents have the same celestial imagery?

It wouldn't be the only time.

Ursa Major was known as the Bear to the American Indians as well as Greeks.

16 posted on 06/05/2006 4:56:55 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (In 2002 the bottom 20% did 4.3% of the work, the top 20% did 33.9% of the work.)
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To: From many - one.
Pioneer psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung came up with his theory of psychic archetypes and the collective unconscious. Under this idea symbology is universal in the human race. This is why myths (the great flood myth for example) is found in various versions all over the world. And symbols like the cross or the swastika are used all over the world by different cultures.
17 posted on 06/05/2006 5:00:58 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: Antonello
I'm not sure I get it. Are people shocked that supernovas seen in Europe were visible over the American continent too? Or are they just amazed that the American Indians were able to tilt their heads up and, you know, see them?

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."

18 posted on 06/05/2006 5:03:37 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (Lincoln: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.")
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To: thoughtomator

My question as well.


19 posted on 06/05/2006 5:04:41 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: From many - one.
What I find interesting is the scorpion. Why should the two continents have the same celestial imagery?

Probably because Scorpio is one of the few constellations that actually looks like what it's suppose to be.

20 posted on 06/05/2006 5:04:44 PM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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