The two stars in the Marci and Kircher, 1650, may be a reference to the two supernovae SN 1572 (top star) and SN 1054 (bottom star), with the hands pointing to their positions being along the Milky Way (finger in the top circle points slightly to the right of the star and in the bottom circle slightly to the left). The circles enclosing them may possibly represent the Celestial Zero Meridian and Ecliptic, the top circle displaying the Vernal Equinox.  When the Marci-to-Kircher-letter arm-star diagram is superimposed onto SN 1572 and SN 1054 on a North Pole centred star map of 11/11/1572, they line up when North is under the Zenith and the arms point along the Milky Way. The hands also point along the Milky way to SN 1604 beyond the Celestial Zero Meridian. SN 1604 also lies near the Milky Way and the stars could refer to a number of combinations of supernovae. The Marci-to-Kircher-letter arm-star diagrams are a rough sketch and would not expect to be technically accurate, but two stars along the Milky Way, one near the Vernal Equinox and one not, both showing the Ecliptic and Celestial Equator from different angles is accurate enough to relay information.

If the larger circle is superimposed onto a North Pole centred Chinese style star map so that the Vernal Equinox matches the point of cross over of the two circles then the single line portion of the circle is found to pass through the North Pole.  Assuming the North Pole would mark both images and that the smaller circle image shows the Ecliptic and Celestial Equator from a different angle ( SN 1054 lies just above the Celestial Equator rather than being enclose by it at the point of its location) and the stars mark the actual locations, then the two arms line up to point along the Milky Way, one clockwise and one anticlockwise forming a complete picture of the position of the two supernovae in the sky and in relation to each other.  However, as they are actually seen on the letter, keeping the stars as the actual locations of the supernovae, the arms as marking the Milky Way and the direction of the Vernal Equinox, their position and relationship on a European horizon based star map is what appears to be found.

This may be pure coincidence and certainly the date of this letter being thought to be 1650 and the letter in the manuscript dated 1666 does not fit in with later constellations being shown, but the hypothesis regarding constellations from 1670 being depicted may be wrong or knowledge of the two supernovae and their similarities may have been circulating before the manuscript was written. Whatever the answer the evidence points to the possibility that Marci and Kircher may have had knowledge of the supernovae of my theory, even if they were not directly involved with the writing of the manuscript and even if the letter found in the manuscript is fake.

Details of the arm-star diagram discovered by Jan Hurych on the Marci-to-Athanasius Kircher letter APUG 557 130v, can be found here in the J.vs library archive:

The arm-star imagery was also compared with f57v which I agree with, though in the context of supernovae:



Copyright 2010 P. Han