Oldest Depiction of Supernova in Stone Carving

This is a follow-up post on “Indian Records of Crab Nebula

Earlier I have written about possibility of Indian records of SN1054 – you may see the article on above link. This one is however is relatively new discovery. In 2018, oldest skymap depicting Supernova explosion was unearthed in Kashmir, India.

Skymap is a 5000 years old stone carving which displays constellations as their mythological characters namely – Orion, Taurus and Pegasus. Other than constellations, it also shows two bright objects as discs. One of them possibly is the Moon, other being infer as the Supernova. Dated to 4600 BC, skymap possibly shows Supernova HB9, whose brightness was equal to that of the Moon.

As mentioned in the paper, stone carving was found in a stone wall facing inside in site dated to 2100 BC, suggesting that its importance has been lost to the people by then and the stone had been used for another structure.

All this gives us a hint for where to look for “Indian records of SN1054” – there is quite a possibility that we may find a skymap with a ‘bright star’ in an abnormal location in the sky.

For further detailed reading –

First human records of Supernova – TIFR


Published by Anand Krishna

Amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. Interested in astrophoto processing, astrostatistics, comet hunting, visual and radio astronomy.

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