Supernova record found in Kashmir

Date:

Share post:

A painting on the arch-door of the 17th century tomb of Sufi saint Syed Mohammad Madni in Srinagar is the “first firm record” of a supernova sighting in India, claim researchers. The mural, which shows two archers, a representation of the Sagittarius constellation, depicts the celestial event dating back to 1604, according to researchers from Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and University of Kashmir. 

German astronomer Johannes Kepler observed the supernova – a spectacular explosion of a massive star – and described it as an archer in his book De Stella nova in pede Serpentarii. The supernova, the last in our galaxy, was subsequently named Kepler’s Supernova after him. 

The mural at Madni’s tomb depicts the same celestial event. The tomb, however, was built 15 years after the event. 

“Our research suggests that India also saw the supernova in 1604. It was winter in Kashmir and the sky was bright for weeks,” said Aijaz Banday, an archaeologist at Kashmir university’s department of Central Asian studies. 

According to Banday, who has also written a paper on the arch-door of Madni’s tomb, although Shah Jahan became Mughal emperor in 1627, he frequented the tomb as a prince as well. “The door on which the painting was done has a Persian inscription which indicates it was constructed by Shah Jahan, when he was still a prince.” 

“The door was painted with two Sagittarius figures, which we believe was a record of the image of the supernova that was etched in the minds of the people who saw it,” said Banday. 

The blazed tiles with the original mural have been removed from the arch-door and are on display at the Srinagar Museum. A specimen of the painting is at the University of Kashmir.  

Author: Ashiq Hussain | Source: Hindustan Times [July 12, 2011]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Thieves break into Latin Church in Istanbul’s Beyoglu, steal artefacts

Four thieves broke into a Latin Catholic Church in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, stealing a number of...

Tropical sea temperatures influence melting in Antarctica

Accelerated melting of two fast-moving outlet glaciers that drain Antarctic ice into the Amundsen Sea Embayment is likely...

Underwater treasure hunting endangers sunken relics around south China’s Xisha Islands

Treasure hunters have swarmed to the South China Sea in great number in recent years, seeking to uncover...

Rare coin, other artefacts found at Bethsaida dig

Researchers have discovered an extremely rare coin during excavations led by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)...

DNA highlights Native American die-off

Genetic evidence now backs up Spanish documents from the 16th century describing smallpox epidemics that decimated Native American...

More on European languages linked to migration from the east

UAB has participated in a research published in Nature which identified a massive migration of Kurgan populations (Yamna...

Running past Neanderthals

Stone Age people, unlike their Neanderthal contemporaries, had heel bones spring-loaded for long runs, a new study suggests....

Riace Bronzes ‘can’t be moved’ for Milan Expo 2015

The Italian culture ministry on Wednesday said the two world-famous ancient Greek warrior statues called the Riace Bronzes...