About 129 BC someone—probably the Greek astronomer Hipparchus—sit down for the first time and mapped the stars. But this map of the universe disappeared from history until modern technology hid it between the pages of medieval manuscripts.
According to a study published in the Journal of the History of Astronomy, a student at the University of Cambridge named Jamie Claire first saw the star map in 2012.
As reported by Artnet, the star map depicts the constellation of the Northern Lights. Thanks to Hipparchus’ discovery of a process called precession, measurements of stars from Earth’s perspective change over time, allowing researchers to estimate exactly when the measurements were made.
While it’s hard to say with absolute certainty that Hipparchus’ rediscovered star map was made, its discovery is still astounding. The researchers are excited about the possibility that other reprints could reveal similar lost documents when examined using modern techniques such as multispectral imaging.
PIC: Popular science, Flipboard, IFLScience, Nature