Researchers think they have found evidence that humans painted a supernova a staggering 5,000 years ago.
Scientists have come across an absolutely stunning find India, discovering what appears to be a 5,000 year old rock art piece that may be the oldest depiction ever of a supernova. Scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research believe they’ve found a rock painting in the Kashmir region of south Asia dated to 3600 BC that shows exactly that.
Researchers found the rock buried in a wall in an ancient house that was already dated at more than 4,000 years old, but they think this piece of rock is even older and was used to build the newer dwelling. The painting depicts not one but two bright objects in the sky, which researchers didn’t think could be the sun and the moon.
Astrophysicist Mayank Vahia, who led the research, thinks that this must be a painting of a supernova, which would be as bright as the sun if it exploded nearby. And Vahia believes there was such a supernova at that time, supernova HB9 about 2,600 light years away, which would have been visible on Earth around 3600 BC and would have been a little less bright than a full moon.