The Milky Way’s Role in Ancient Egyptian Mythology

the sky goddess Nut, covered in stars, is held aloft by her father, Shu, and is arched over Geb, her brother the Earth god. On the left, the rising sun (the falcon-headed god Re) sails up Nut’s legs. On the right, the setting sun sails down her arms towards the outstretched arms of Osiris, who will regenerate the sun in the netherworld during the night.

Look through the names and origins of the constellations and you will soon realise that many cultures had a hand in their conceptualisation. Among them are the Egyptians who were fantastic astronomers. The movement of the sky played a vital role in ancient Egypt including the development of the 365 day year and the 24 hour day. Like many other cultures they say the Sun, Moon and planets as gods. Surprisingly though, the bright Milky Way seems not to have played a vital role. Some new research suggests that this may not be the case and it may have been a manifestation of the sky goddess Nut! 

Continue reading “The Milky Way’s Role in Ancient Egyptian Mythology”

Archeologists are Planning to Scan the Great Pyramid of Giza With Cosmic Rays With Such Detail, They Should see Every Hidden Chamber Inside

The Great Pyramid of Giza (Khufu) in 2005. Image Credit: By Nina - Own work, CC BY 2.5,

The Great Pyramid of Giza might be the most iconic structure humans ever built. Ancient civilizations constructed archaeological icons that are a testament to their greatness and persistence. But in some respects, the Great Pyramid stands alone. Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only the Great Pyramid stands relatively intact.

A team of scientists will use advances in High Energy Physics (HIP) to scan the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza with cosmic-ray muons. They want to see deeper into the Great Pyramid than ever before and map its internal structure. The effort is called the Explore the Great Pyramid (EGP) mission.

Continue reading “Archeologists are Planning to Scan the Great Pyramid of Giza With Cosmic Rays With Such Detail, They Should see Every Hidden Chamber Inside”

Can you See the Pyramids from Space?

Click for a larger version of this image to see if you can see the Pyramids at Giza from the International Space Station. Via astronaut Nicole Stott's Twitpic feed.


Astronaut Nicole Stott posted this image on her Twitter account. If you can spot the Great Pyramids at Giza in this small image, you’ve pretty good eyesight! Click the image for a larger version if can’t find them.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi posted an image of different set of pyramids at Dahshur, Egypt, from his stint on the ISS in 2010. He zoomed in a little more, making them easier to see, below:

The Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, Egypt. Credit: Soichi Noguchi/NASA/JAXA

But there’s still the question, can you see the Great Wall of China from space?

Pyramids On Mars

D&M pyramid on mars. Credit: NASA

The Pyramids on Mars are hills or mountains on the surface of Mars that, from a low resolution image, have near-perfect symmetry resembling that of the Egyptian pyramids. These formations are found in the Martian region known as Cydonia, an albedo feature that gained celebrity-like attention in the 1970s.

Some of the images captured of the Martian surface by the Viking Missions in the 70’s showed a formation that closely resembled a humanoid face. E.T. aficionados immediately interpreted this as a structure built by intelligent lifeforms like ours. More photographs of the region (Cydonia) revealed pyramid-like structures.

One of them, the D&M pyramid had a near-perfect symmetry. Since the pyramids were located near the “Face on Mars”, speculations regarding its alien origins gained more followers. According to advocates of the theory, the Face on Mars may have been constructed by inhabitants of the nearby city a.k.a. the Pyramids on Mars.

They even pointed out the peculiar smoothness of the wide region beside the Pyramids on Mars, which may have been a vast body of water such as an ocean. The proximity of the ‘city’ to a large body of water is typical of most inhabitants who would naturally want to be near a huge source of natural resources and a medium for travel.

This fascinating theory or story later on subsided when much higher resolution photos from later expeditions, one in April 5, 1998 and another in April 8, 2001, revealed the Face on Mars as nothing more than a mesa, an elevated piece of land with a flat top and steep sides. Mesas can be found in the southwestern region of the US.

You can also find them in South Africa, Arabia, India, Australia, and of course, Spain. The term ‘mesa’ is actually derived from the Spanish word that means ‘table’. Mesas look pretty much like giant tables rising above a surrounding plain.

The sharper images showed that the top of the mesa did not resemble a face at all. As for the Pyramids on Mars, such geological formations can be found here on Earth. They’re usually formed through the action of ice in glaciation or frost weathering.

Some good examples of such formations here on Earth are Switzerland’s Matterhorn, USA’s Mount Thielsen, Scotland’s Buachaille Etive Mòr, and Canada’s Mount Assiniboine.

We have some related articles here that may interest you:

There’s more about it at NASA. Here are a couple of sources there:

Here are two episodes at Astronomy Cast that you might want to check out as well:

NASA: Unmasking the Face of Mars
NASA Mars Exploration