Assyrian Voice Logo. Click to go to our home page.
Discover . Entertain . Socialize . Connect with everything Assyrian. Anywhere. Anytime


Assyrian Astronomy is Known to NASA
By: Ashur Sada. Feb. 11, 2006

Assyrian and Babylonian astronomy dates back to some 4,000 years ago.  Given the very primitive advancement in science and technology back then, Mesopotamian astronomy in general, was quiet advanced.  In fact, it lay some of the foundation upon which modern astronomy is based on.  NASA for example, acknowledges that Assyrians were one of the first nations to discover Mars, the red planet. Yes that is right, Assyrians, using the famous lens of Nimrod, detected Mars first.  It is not surprising then, that a basic search for 'Assyrian' on NASA's website, will yield many results.  Here is what we found. 

The Search Results

The first result was about who Assyrians are in general. They did a decent job in describing who Assyrians are:
"Assyrians People who originated in the northern Tigris River valley, in the Armenian Mountains. They later conquered much of Mesopotamia, as well as Phoenicia and Egypt. The Assyrians brought to their people great advances in civilization. The Assyrian Empire lasted from about 1350 B.C. to 612 B.C., when rival armies destroyed Nineveh, the Assyrian capital. "

Then there was a table of solar eclipses as recorded in history, and Assyrians had their own recording of this.  It puts the date at -0762 Jun 15 (763 BCE), and this was a total eclipse. The duration of this eclipse was recorded at 04m59s.  And finally, there is a link to a map that details this eclipse, as well as a graphic path.  Notice that the year is at the peak of the Assyrian empire.  This tells you that the state cared a lot about science and education. 

There was even more results about Assyrian recordings of eclipses in history. One such interesting finding was the following:

"Babylonian clay tablets that have survived since dawn of civilization in the Mesopotamian region record the earliest total solar eclipse seen in Ugarit on May 3, 1375 BC. Like the Chinese, Babylonian astrologers kept careful records about celestial happenings including the motions of Mercury, Venus, the Sun, and the Moon on tablets dating from 1700 to 1681 BC. Later records identified a total solar eclipse on July 31, 1063 BC, that "turned day into night," and the famous eclipse of June 15, 763 BC, recorded by Assyrian observers in Nineveh. Babylonian astronomers are credited with having discovered the 223-month period for lunar eclipses."

There is also a mentioning of Assyrians as being the first in history to detect and study Saturn. In a PDF format, the article "Getting to know Saturn: a Timeline of discovery" puts Assyrians on top of the list, chronologically speaking: "~ 800 BC Assyrian and Babylonian observations", and that being the time they first discovered Saturn.

Yet more results relating to the Red planet, and this time about some volcanic region on this planet, called Cimmeria.  Interestingly enough, a section on NASA's website notes: "The Cimmerians who give their name to this region were an ancient, little-known people of southern Russia mentioned in  Assyrian inscriptions and by Homer."   And that makes you wonder about just how much the Assyrians knew back then, that they would write about people, who are named after a region in Mars? could be a pure coincident, or could be some knowledge we are still not sure about.


It is interesting and ironic in that a lot of these articles and documents, use the name  'Assyrian', 'Babylonian' and even 'Sumerian' interchangeably.  The fact that NASA, arguably the biggest and most authoritative body in space and astronomical research, mentions and credits Assyrians for their historical exploration, reinforces the notion that Assyrians are indeed a nation that has given humanity a lot. Sure these exploration were made over three thousands years ago, but their implications and applications are more relevant today than they were back then.  George W. Bush, the current US president, has called for the US to go back to the moon, and go even further and send a manned mission to Mars by 2024, still some 17 years away. Seventeen  years is more than enough to raise a new generation of astronauts.  Now what on earth could stop an Assyrian or Assyrians from having their own astronauts then, who could ride on NASA's spaceship and go to Mars. That would be one giant accomplishment and irony for Assyrians.  The people who discovered the Red planet, are finally able to see it face to face.  If that is impossible, NASA should at least credit Assyrians by taking their flag and digging it on the red soil of the red planet.  Assyrian flag flying over the Red planet? not bad at all, we will take it!










Back Home
Email an Article/Story