Star Trek: The Search for the First Alleged Crab Supernova Rock Art
Since the 1950s, star/crescent combinations in prehistoric rock art in the American Southwest have become broadly accepted as eyewitness records of the Crab supernova explosion, a spectacular event visible in 1054 A.D. As this interpretation became more fashionable, Griffith Observatory Director Dr. E.C. Krupp began a long-term effort to inspect each of these sites in person. His field work eventually led him, in 2008, to the two sites in northern Arizona that started this cottage industry in supernova rock art, sites that had been lost and had not been revisited for 50 years. In this program, Dr. Krupp will survey the best known star/crescent sites, describe his efforts to reach them, and report his results.
Dr. E.C. Krupp is an astronomer and Director of Griffith Observatory, which is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. He recently led Griffith Observatory's $93-million renovation and expansion. He majored in physics and astronomy as an undergraduate at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He began working at Griffith Observatory in 1970 as a part-time Planetarium Lecturer when he was still in graduate school in astronomy at U.C.L.A., where he studied the properties of rich clusters of galaxies with the late Dr. George O. Abell. Since 1973, Dr. Krupp has actively studied ancient, prehistoric, and traditional astronomy worldwide. He has visited more than 2000 ancient and prehistoric sites throughout the world and has recently returned from an expedition to Peru, where he observed the June solstice at Chankillo, the oldest observatory in the New World, and also just returned from Denmark and Sweden, where he visited the remains of Tycho Brahe's observatory on the island of Hven. He has published five books on ancient astronomy, four astronomy children's books, dozens of research papers, and hundreds of articles for the general reader. One area of his research is the astronomical connotations of rock art in California and the Southwest.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Steve Condrey