Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido

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Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido
Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido
Hangul 천상열차분야지도
Hanja 天象列次分野之圖
Revised Romanization Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido
McCune–Reischauer Ch'ŏnsang Yŏlch'a Punyajido

Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido is a 14th-century Korean star map, copies of which were spread nationwide in the Joseon Dynasty. The name is sometimes translated as "chart of the constellations and the regions they govern."[1]

King Taejo ordered royal astronomers to carve the constellations on a flat black stone in December 1395. The stone size was about 122.5 width x 211 height x 12 depth cm. The engraved stone shows 1,467 stars, 264 constellations and their names, the ecliptic and equatorial lines, and 365 scales around. It was compiled through a combination of a Goguryeo star map with more recent observations.[2]

The map showed positions of the heavenly bodies in their natural order and allocated on their respective celestial fields. Its map projection law is found to be the polar equatorial and equidistance projection : the linear distance of an object on the map from the center is linearly proportional to the north polar angular distance.

The epoch of the stellar positions is estimated to be near the 1st century for the stars with declination less than 50 degrees, and to be near 1395 A.D for stars with declination higher than 50 degrees.

This map became standard during the Joseon dynasty, with numerous copies printed and disseminated throughout the kingdom, until it was superseded by Western planispheres in the 19th century.

The map is the 228th national treasure of South Korea, and is kept in the Korean Royal Museum in Seoul.

The map is now used as a background image on the reverse of the 2007 issued 10,000 won banknotes.

See also[edit]

  • Yi Soon-Jee famous Korean astronomer during the Joseon dynasty,
  • Chil Jong-San, Korean scholar credited with having calculated the positions of five major planets and solar-lunar eclipses
  • Astrology

Notes[edit]

  • ^ For example, by Jeon (1998), p. 51.
  • ^ Jeon (1998), pp. 51-52. Cites a poem about the map written by Yangchon Kwon Geun.

References[edit]