Hipparchus' star catalog being held by Atlas?

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nacnud

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<b>Visions of Ancient Night Sky Were Hiding in Plain Sight for Centuries</b><br />By KENNETH CHANG <br />Published: January 18, 2005<br />The New York Times<br /><br />AN DIEGO, Jan. 12 - Two thousand years later, astronomers still talk about Hipparchus' [wikipedia.org] star catalog, the earliest known compendium of the night sky.<br /><br />Hipparchus, who lived in Greece during the second century B.C., was perhaps the world's first great astronomer. He calculated, within six and a half minutes, the length of a year. He figured out that Earth's axis wobbles as it spins. For his star catalog, completed in 129 B.C., he devised a coordinate system to plot each star's location and a scale to rank the brightness. Astronomers still use this magnitude scale today.<br /><br />Most of Hipparchus' work, however, is known only secondhand. No one has seen the catalog for centuries, a fabled ancient text apparently lost forever.<br /><br />No one until Dr. Bradley E. Schaefer thought of looking for it on a statue. More…<br />
 
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thalion

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I thought this was a very cool article myself, when I found out about it. This tells us a lot about how painstaking the ancients were with their astronomical info--who knows what's been lost?
 
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