Celestial Chart

Hun Tian Yi Tong Xing Xiang Quan Tu
Hun T'ien Yi T'ung Hsing Hsiang Ch'uan T'u
General Map of the Stars Gathered in the Immense Sky


Star Chart

Ink rubbing of a stele at the Confucian Temple, Suzhou, Jiangsu province
Southern Song dynasty, Chunyou reign, dated 1247

Hanging scroll; ink on paper
183 x 100 cm

Stone Carving Museum, Suzhou

現置於蘇州文廟的石刻全天天文圖碑,碑全高二公尺有餘,上部為天文圖,下為說明 文字。

南宋黃裳為此星圖的原著者,任太子太師時(∼1190 AD),為教導太子嘉王趙擴天文、地理知識,所繪的八幅圖之一。而石碑刻於西元1247年。

Dunhuang collection in the British Museum

Copyright c 1997, The British Library Board
British Library, Or.8210/S.3226

The Star Chart is one of the most important manuscripts in the British Library Dunhuang Collection. Dated about A.D. 940 it is almost certainly the oldest extant manuscript star-chart from any civilization.

In the fourth century B.C. three Chinese astronomers drew star charts based on their own observations. These were used by Qian Lezhi, an astronomer living in the fourth century A.D., to make a bronze planisphere. The planisphere showed the stars determined by the three ancient astronomers in red, black and white. The original works of the fourth century B.C. and the planisphere are now lost, but the Star Chart is a manuscript example of Qian Lezhi's work and also uses three colours.