Satellite Imagery Could Solve The Riddle Of Noah's Ark
After centuries of speculation, the biblical tale of Noah and his ark is once and for all being put to test thanks to modern satellite technology. For decades, Porcher Taylor, a Professor at the University of Richmond has been searching for definitive proof of Noah's legendary ark, ever since he first came across imagery of what appeared to be the remnants of a structure nestled within an ice cap in Northern Turkey. Now, the secrets of the area known as the 'Ararat anomaly' could be unlocked thanks to high-resolution satellite imaging, and the help of an array of experts, thus ending Taylor's 41 year quest for answers.
A 2003 image taken by DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite, 15,000 above the site. This is the clearest image taken so far of the area in question.
Professor Taylor told Space.com : "The cognitive genesis of my journey began in 1973, some 41 years ago, in my junior year as a cadet at West Point." At West Point, Taylor had overheard 'credible rumors' regarding a CIA spy satellite during the cold war that had accidentally captured an image of "what appeared to be the bow of a ship sticking up out of the ice cap on Mt. Ararat."
During the next forty-some decades, Taylor has been successful in obtaining numerous satellite images of the area in question, by petitioning the DIA to declassify already taken satellite images of the mountain, and by garnering support from the scientific and archeological communities.
Taylor hopes to take advantage of the constantly ameliorating satellite technology. "My ultimate goal" he says, "has always been that my acquisition over the years of progressively higher and higher-resolution satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe of the anomaly might definitively change the anomaly into a known entity, either something geological or perhaps something of Biblical proportions."
Taylor is lucky, because as it so happens, DigitalGlobe is planning on sending a state-of-the-art "WorldView-3" satellite up to capture images of Earth this summer, from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This "World-View-3" satellite is incredibly precise and hi-res— packing 12 inches of panchromatic resolution, which is the highest resolution for a commercial satellite to date.
Kumar Navulur, DigitalGlobe's Product Development & Labs senior director, told Space.com that the satellite's "remote-sensing technology and analytics are now so advanced, we can not only view detailed information about man-made features, but also monitor the wonders of some of Mother Nature's hidden treasures [...]" Navulur adds that from of the satellite technology, "we are able to proactively observe environmental changes which unravel human footprints from thousands of years ago, such as the Ararat anomaly, and contribute to space archeology in a real and meaningful manner."
Porcher Taylor hopes that the image that DigitalGlobe comes up with this summer might just inspire further on-the-ground excavation of the site. He adds that the "game-changing" WorldView-3 satellite, "might just accomplish that goal, as that will be the world's first commercial satellite to have that skill set … a quantum leap in satellite technology!"