Incas Dark Constellation x ALMA

This is a commissioned research project invited by Maria Jose Rios, the project founder of l_c project. The goal is to explore the link between the ancient constellation knowledge of the Incas and the contemporary astronomy and to develop a data visualization logic to visualize this link. This project will collaborate with data provided by ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) and is funded by Fondart Regional. A paper of this project and a data visualization installation will be published on ALMA website in December 2021.

Astronomy in the Paracas mantles, quoted from the l_c project pdf file.
Astronomy in the Paracas mantles, quoted from the l_c project pdf file.

The traditional Mapuche-Pewenche calendar and it is also important to mention the astronomical methods with which time was kept, including the determination of the day of We Tripantü (New Year).
The traditional Mapuche-Pewenche calendar and it is also important to mention the astronomical methods with which time was kept, including the determination of the day of We Tripantü (New Year).

The Dark Constellation of the Incas and the Dark Nebula

Because I have zero knowledge for astronomy discipline, therefore I contacted the Taipei ALMA and I have reached Dr. Mei-Yin Chou (周美吟). In the beginning I was linking dark constellation of the Incas to the void, and she suggested that dark nebulas maybe is the thing I should look into. She also indicated that those Incas dark constellations are all within the Milky Way galaxy, therefore we might be able to map the star datas documented in ALMA with the list of dark nebula.

The Milky Way in the region between Cygnus and Crux, as viewed from Cusco in 1400 BC.
The dark cloud constellations identified by Urton in this region have been sketched as an help to the
eye. The huge region “between two rivers” which is comprised in the band connecting Scutum and
Cygnus is indicated by arrows.
The Milky Way in the region between Cygnus and Crux, as viewed from Cusco in 1400 BC. The dark cloud constellations identified by Urton in this region have been sketched as an help to the eye. The huge region “between two rivers” which is comprised in the band connecting Scutum and Cygnus is indicated by arrows.

Laser Dye visualization base on FITS datas

It is expected to develop a data visualization methodology to connect the ALMA datas and the Incas culture, the current idea is to mimic the way how Incas people built their architectures with the laser dye textiles. Laser Dye Project is a project about how to create textile patterns by laser exposure, developed by Shih Wei Chieh. In this project he will develop a textile prints base on the dark nebula datas from ALMA, to analog the way how Incas establishes their culture according to the astronomical informations on the spectrum means.

I am currently converting FITS datas to graphic, this graphic is generated by an app I made with Max/msp, and it was feed with lists extracted from FITS file downloaded from ALMA FITS Archive. At the moment I only randomly pick datas around coalsack nebula.

Extracting list datas from the FITS file, I use SAOimageDS9 to read the FITS data, below are the steps on how to extract the list in DS9:

  1. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.01.35 PM firstly open the FITS in DS9, DS9 can be downloaded here.
  2. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.02.05 PM go to region -> region parameters -> and select Auto Plot 3D
  3. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.14.26 PM go to edit -> select region
  4. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.02.25 PM now you can make an region area in the main window, to extract the part you wish to extract your list data
  5. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.02.24 PM once the region area is made, the circle window and the radio wave data will automatically pop out
  6. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.03.13 PM under the circle window, go to file -> select list data
  7. Screen Shot 2021 12 15 At 11.59.29 PM graphic generated by the app made in Max/msp, however this graphic is not data based yet.

Refrerences

1. WENUMAPU CHE Gente del Cielo
2. Wenumapu
3. The Dark Constellations of the Incas
4. On the astronomical content of the sacred landscape of Cusco in Inka times.
5. List of dark nebulae
6. Astronomy Picture of the Day Index - Nebulae: Dark Nebulae
7. Stars through the araucarias: Mapuche-Pewenche ethnoastronomy
8. ALMA observations of water deuteration: a physical diagnostic of the formation of protostars