The Supernova of 1054

September 3rd, 2018

If you’ve taken an astronomy class, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Crab Nebula and probably taken a look at it through a telescope. It’s a huge presence in the Milky Way, much bigger than our entire solar system. Thanks to astute observations and data collection by the Chinese, Japanese, and Arabs in addition to the application of the principles of physics, we now know that the Crab Nebula is the remains of the supernova of 1054, sometimes referred to as SN1054.

Scientists say the appearance of this phenomenon debuted on July 4, 1054, and was visible for almost two years. At its brightest, it was visible in the daytime. Next to the sun and moon, it was the brightest object in the sky.

Because the supernova appeared about the same time the ancient Native American society of Cahokia went into decline, some scholars speculate about the connection. It seems likely that the sudden appearance of this dramatic heavenly body could have been construed as a message or omen by those residing in North American.

In Maiden Murders, I’ve taken a little artistic liberty with the phenomenon and what it could have meant to the young women who was likely sacrificed near the time the supernova appeared. This subplot appears in my mystery novel, Maiden Murders. If you want to learn more about the supernova, the internet is full of information and even some visual simulations. Happy web surfing!

Leave a Reply