The ruins in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon are some of the most well-preserved remnants of the Ancestral Pueblan civilization in the Four Corners area of the southwest. But tucked in a small canyon, painted on a rock overhang are these strange pictographs. One is a clear depiction of a human hand, but the other two are thought to show the crescent moon alongside a star that went nova on July 4th, 1054.
This event would have been noticeable and spectacular–the brightness of a supernova is such that it can be seen in the daytime and even outshine the moon itself, making the night sky appear eerily bright. It was seen all around the world, and matches similar depictions seen in every inhabited place on Earth at the time. And on that night, the moon was indeed in the waning crescent phase.
Today, although the bright supernova is no longer lighting up the sky, we now know it as the Crab Nebula.