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Dunhuang Star Chart

The British Library

The British Library

This paper scroll is the oldest complete preserved star atlas from any civilisation. It was made in China in around AD 700, centuries before the invention of the telescope, and shows more than 1300 stars visible in the Northern Hemisphere. At that time, it was believed that the movement of the stars directly reflected the actions of the Chinese emperor and the court. A solar eclipse, for example, might be interpreted as a sign of a forthcoming coup.

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Details

  • Title: Dunhuang Star Chart
  • Date Created: c. 700
  • Location: British Library, London, UK
  • Location Created: China
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Original Source: Or 8210/S.3326
  • Rights: Public Domain. For more information visit: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

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