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3,200-Year-Old Papyrus Contains Astrophysical Information about Variable Star Algol

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posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 08:51 PM
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3,200-Year-Old Papyrus Contains Astrophysical Information about Variable Star Algol
(sci-news.com)


Ancient Egyptians wrote Calendars of Lucky and Unlucky Days that assigned astronomically influenced prognoses for each day of the year. The best preserved of these calendars is the Cairo Calendar dated to 1244 – 1163 BC (Ramesside Period). According to scientists at the University of Helsinki, this papyrus is the oldest preserved historical document of naked eye observations of a variable star, the eclipsing binary star Algol.


The researchers had noted that the 'brightest phases of Algol and the Moon had particularly positive meanings for the Ancient Egyptians,' and that the earliest known observations of variable stars can be pushed back nearly 2,500 years, from 1596 AD to 1244 BC. The papyrus text really does demonstrate what powerful naked-eye astronomers the ancient Egyptians were, and that once again, we see they made scientific discoveries that wouldn't be known again for thousands of years.




posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 09:00 PM
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clicking on a link inside your link, made me feel really stoopid,

I wish i could work this out



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 09:29 PM
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a reply to: scubagravy

If that link doesn't make you appreciate the astronomical abilities of the Egyptians I don't know what will



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 09:32 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Oh it certainly does my friend, Astronomical Egyptian Feats has always piqued my interest.

i have just sent that link to a friend, hopefully he can help me with it.

Given the fact that Algol is just over 92 light years away, you wonder if they just had searchers that layed on their backs for all of night marking all movements , being spoon fed so as not to miss anything



edit on 27/12/2015 by scubagravy because: (no reason given)


+4 more 
posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 09:36 PM
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Hey. No internet. No TV. What else are you going to look at at night?
Not to mention that the seasons followed what the sky did (apparently, though the opposite is the actuality) so looking for very fine detail up there had the potential to predict the future, in a sense. So careful observation of the skies was a feature of every early civilization. They got good at it and their nights were a lot darker than most of ours.

Very cool that such early observations can be found.

edit on 12/27/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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originally posted by: scubagravy
clicking on a link inside your link, made me feel really stoopid,

I wish i could work this out


It is from a database of astronomical objects, one of many such databases, and it identifies the same object under different designations in different catalogs.

Many of the different acronyms actually have links to a dictionary of nomenclatures.

From the SIMBAD website: "The SIMBAD astronomical database provides basic data, cross-identifications, bibliography and measurements for astronomical objects outside the solar system. SIMBAD can be queried by object name, coordinates and various criteria. Lists of objects and scripts can be submitted. Links to some other on-line services are also provided".



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 10:49 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
Hey. No internet. No TV. What else are you going to look at at night?
Not to mention that the seasons followed what the sky did (apparently, though the opposite is the actuality) so looking for very fine detail up there had the potential to predict the future, in a sense. So careful observation of the skies was a feature of every early civilization. They got good at it and their nights were a lot darker than most of ours.

Very cool that such early observations can be found.


In all these countries and civilizations there would have been no street lights, freeways, office blocks, cars, airplanes. Just completely dark skies. You still get this in the countryside. Go outside and you'll see a vast band of white stars going all the way across the sky. The location of the stars was important, as it predicted when the Nile would flood.

Position of the Moon helped mark the passage of time. The planets like Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter would have been obvious. Comets were always a bad sign as the comet dust could obscure sunlight and cause crops to fail. Keeping a look out for meteorites would be useful as a lot of Egyptian artifacts were made from meteoritic metal and sand melted into glass.

www.foxnews.com...

verumetinventa.wordpress.com...



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 10:49 PM
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originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
a reply to: scubagravy

If that link doesn't make you appreciate the astronomical abilities of the Egyptians I don't know what will


Algol is visible to human eyes and its brightness also varies visibly. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that ancient observers noted the changes in brightness.

Here's a Wikipedia article on Algol.

To me, the most amazing thing is not that the observation was made, it was that a papyrus survived for so long.



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: stormcell




Comets were always a bad sign as the comet dust could obscure sunlight and cause crops to fail.

You were doing well up to that point, and posting that second link.

Ancient Egyptians may have known that meteors carry life-producing elements on them

verumetinventa.wordpress.com...

Sure, the ancient Egyptians had mass spectrometry and could identify traces of amino acids in meteorites as well as knowing the composition of proteins.

edit on 12/27/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: stormcell




Comets were always a bad sign as the comet dust could obscure sunlight and cause crops to fail.


www.livescience.com...

Not the comet directly, but the meteor showers that come along



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: stormcell


A piece of the famous Halley's comet likely slammed into Earth in A.D. 536, blasting so much dust into the atmosphere that the planet cooled considerably, a new study suggests.

www.livescience.com...
Though the connection to the comet is somewhat speculative, that makes more sense than this:

Comets were always a bad sign as the comet dust could obscure sunlight and cause crops to fail.


edit on 12/28/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 10:59 AM
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I'm not seeing much enthusiasm for this idea in academic circles, in part because (as I understand it) the difference in brightness is slight.



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

I wonder how the Dogon would feel about this...

They too have made astronomical observations,even though it is disputed this discovery could help validate other claims of ancient astronomers.



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 12:57 PM
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Very nice thread if all true. I love to learn about what things things our human family accomplsihed in the past. I usually never cease to be amazed by something. I think we habitually underestimate. I'm not saying our forebears could make a computer chip or could beat Einstein's Sr/Gr, but we still underestimate them. This in turn prevents us from fully understanding how we acquired our present day technology and knowledge.
edit on 12/28/2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 01:43 PM
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originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
a reply to: Blackmarketeer

I wonder how the Dogon would feel about this...

They too have made astronomical observations,even though it is disputed this discovery could help validate other claims of ancient astronomers.



The Dogon have always been a red herring, anthropologists dismissed the claims of Griaule on their very next visit. And if you check what Griaule claimed they actually said against modern astronomy, it doesn't stand up anyway



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