Oldest supernova found in 5,000-year-old rock carving in Kashmir

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jan 2018 09:00:39



IN AN interesting find, Indian astrophysicists have unearthed a nearly 5,000-year-old rock carving in Kashmir which, they believe, is the oldest record of supernova and sky chart found in human history.

The rock carving -- known to be the earliest form of human expression -- found in Burzahama region in Kashmir is on an irregular stone slab with a size of about 48 cm by 27 cm. The figure shows two bright objects in the sky with rays of light coming out of them and a hunter spearing an animal below the first object.

There is another animal to the left of the hunter drawn above the hunter’s spear, representing a hunting scene. The two objects are a pair of bright stars at the local zenith at the beginning of the hunting season.

The two objects cannot be Sun and Moon since, with such proximity to the Sun, the Moon would be in a partial phase around the new and hence not very bright, said researchers led by Hrishikesh Joglekar from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. “The stone drawing is a complete sky chart of the night on which the Supernova was first observed by unknown observers around 4,500 BC,” Joglekar said in a statement on Tuesday.