World's Oldest Known Map of Stars Found Hiding in Medieval


More than 2,100 years in the past, Greek astronomer Hipparchus mapped out the celebs — and for a very long time, his doc had been thought-about humanity’s earliest try to assign numerical coordinates to stellar our bodies. But regardless of its fame, the treatise was solely recognized to exist by the writings of one other well-known astronomer, Claudius Ptolemy, who compiled his personal celestial stock some 400 years later. 

Until now, that’s.

Researchers consider they’ve discovered fragments of Hipparchus’ misplaced historic doc hidden in a medieval manuscript. 

“This new proof is essentially the most authoritative to this point and permits main progress within the reconstruction of Hipparchus’ Star Catalogue,” reads a research on the discover printed within the journal History of Astronomy final week. The discovery may shed new mild not solely on Hipparchus’ try to map the night time sky by exact measurements and calculations, however on the historical past of astronomy. 

Hipparchus, who’s also referred to as the daddy of trigonometry, is usually thought-about the best astronomer of historical Greece. Parts of his star map seem to have proven up within the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, a e-book of Syriac texts written within the tenth or eleventh centuries whose parchment pages had been erased in order that they could possibly be reused (a standard recycling follow on the time), however nonetheless bear seen traces of their earlier type. This specific palimpsest got here from the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, although the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, now owns a lot of the Codex’s folios. 

Multispectral imaging reveals the improved Greek undertext in pink beneath the black Syriac overtext.


Museum of the Bible

Teams from the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library in California and the Lazarus Project based mostly on the Rochester Institute of Technology revealed the obscured textual content and measurements utilizing many wavelengths of sunshine, a way often called multispectral imaging. 

Researchers from Sorbonne Universite and the University of Cambridge had been then capable of decipher the descriptions of 4 constellations. Not solely did this appear to unveil Hipparchus’ cartography, however the workforce additionally says the newly revealed numerical proof is extremely in line with actual stellar coordinates. 

This would make Hipparchus’ Catalogue extra correct than Ptolemy’s a lot later Almagest astronomy handbook, although the researchers acknowledge they’re working with a small pattern and that important errors may exist in elements of Hipparchus’ Star Catalogue that have not survived or been uncovered but. 

The scientists say the Codex Climaci Rescriptus may nonetheless reveal much more of Hipparchus’ stellar observations. 

Cutting-edge digital applied sciences proceed to get better important bits of cultural heritage on paperwork the human eye cannot see as a result of injury, deterioration or deliberate erasure. 

Multispectral imaging has resurrected text from the oldest recognized copies of writings by historical Greek mathematician Archimedes. It’s revealed secrets of scrolls broken within the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and exposed elements of the Dead Sea Scrollshistorically significant biblical fragments recovered from caves in Qumran, Israel. 

One thought on “World’s Oldest Known Map of Stars Found Hiding in Medieval Manuscript”
  1. Hello, you used to write fantastic, but the last few posts have been kinda boring?I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

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