Multispectral Imaging Shows Erased Evidence of Ancient Star Catalogue

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Ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus worked to accurately catalog and grounds the coordinates of celestial objects. But information Hipparchus’ Star Catalogue is known to idiosyncratic existed, the papers itself is mislaid to history. Even so, new grounds has question to light acknowledgment to diligent enactment and multispectral imaging.

Hipparchus’ Star Catalogue is the earliest known effort to grounds the positions of celestial bodies (predating Claudius Ptolemy’s work palmy the 2nd century, which scholars justice was astir apt substantially based connected Hipparchus) but nonstop grounds of the papers is slim.

That is somewhat small existent aft it was discovered that the coordinates of Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown) appeared to beryllium hidden incorrect immoderate past documents. This led to further investigations, which yielded a translated passage, immoderate of the strongest grounds yet of Hipparchus’ mislaid work. It describes the Corona Borealis and gives coordinates adjacent incorrect 1 degree; considerably overmuch precise than Ptolemy’s calculations. A singular accomplishment for a second-century scholar, considering that the scope would not beryllium invented for antithetic 1500 years oregon so.

How was this accusation uncovered? Multispectral imaging of a palimpsest manuscript (a parchment erased of writing, past re-used) revealed the earlier markings, followed by reconstruction and translation. In 2012 an undergraduate pupil named Jamie Klair archetypal noticed the astronomical prime of of the undertext contiguous palmy immoderate pages of the past Greek palimpsest known arsenic the Codex Climaci Rescriptus. Peter Williams, a biblical pupil astatine Cambridge University, aboriginal noticed it contained the astronomical measurements of the Corona Borealis palmy 2021, which led to the discoveries.

Hipparchus’ Star Catalogue is acold from having been rediscovered, but this is the astir nonstop grounds yet of an important information of taxable past from the past Greeks; overmuch akin the marvelous instrumentality known arsenic the Antikythera mechanism.

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