Startling evidence suggests the ancient Egyptians understood the inner mechanics of a binary star system, spinning through our skies 93 light years away, more than 3,200 years ago.
Not only that, their specific calculations have helped support a scientific line of inquiry which only emerged just a few years ago.
The binary system – two stars which rotate around each other – was first noted in modern astronomy by a John Goodricke, back in 1783.
He spotted how Algol – also known as the Demon Star – appeared to decrease in brightness for a few hours every 2.87 days, and was the first to theorise that this was two stars blocking each other’s light in relation to Earth.
Or we thought he was the first – it turns out the Egyptians apparently had this all figured 3,000 years earlier.
The Egyptians were huge star-gazers, taking copious and accurate notes about changes in the heavens, and using these to form predictions about lucky and unlucky parts of the day.
When Finnish researchers studied the Cairo Calendar, a badly-damaged but readable calendar highlighting the good and bad days of a year in 1200BC, they came to some startling observations.
For the Egyptions not only made observations, they made conclusions and calculations to figure out the inner mechanisms of the stars for their charts.