The artwork on the rock that was found buried in a wall of an ancient house in Kashmir shows what appears to be a hunting scene under two bright objects in the sky, according to a study published in the Indian Journal of History of Science.
Having analyzed the drawing, researchers came to a conclusion that the two objects couldn't be the sun and the moon, because they were depicted very close to each other, and full moon can only appear in the sky at the same time as the sun when it's on the direct opposite side of the planet.
The researchers also pointed out that the figures underneath the supernova and the moon on the rock painting neatly fit into the pattern of stars in the sky surrounding the supernova. Hunters represent Orion, deer represents Taurus, man holding the spear belongs to Pisces and the other animal on the right may be Andromeda and Pegasus. Therefore, the astronomers suggested that the rock art was likely an ancient sky chart and the oldest record of a supernova.
"We suggest that this is not a terrestrial hunting scene but is actually a sky-map giving the location of prominent constellations and the Moon on the day the supernova was first observed." Vahia said in the study.
But only one painting on a rock doesn't count as unquestionable evidence. To prove that it is not just a coincidence, Vahia needs to find another sky chart in the region, drawn for some kind of celestial event, such as comet passing or meteor shower. The astrophysicist is confident that discovering one is a question of time.