Astronomy

As mentioned in part 1, King Sejong presided over the zenith of Korean astronomical achievement. The construction of a large observatory at Gyeongbok Palace in 1438 – later destroyed without a trace in the Japanese invasion – played a key role in the country’s progress. On the roof were installed various astronomical instruments such as […]

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Reading the Heavens Part 2 – World’s First Complete Star Map

by Matthew Jackson 21 February 2012
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Koguryo generally has the tag of a warlike kingdom, and I always assumed that it was the least culturally developed of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Amongst other things, however, it was responsible for the world’s earliest complete map of the stars. This planispheric star map is believed to have been produced in 1395, the […]

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Reading the Heavens Part 1 – Two Millennia of Astronomy in Korea

by Matthew Jackson 14 February 2012
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To celebrate star-crossed lovers everywhere, Matthew Jackson starts a series of articles on Korean astronomy As we can tell from ancient monuments like the Dolmen stones and more recent buildings such as Cheomseongdae, astronomy was big in Korea. Why was this exactly? Reverence for nature was part of it, but it was in fact more […]

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Stargazing in Ancient Silla – the Cheomseongdae

by Matthew Jackson 18 October 2011
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Cheomseongdae, the world’s oldest surviving observatory, features a great deal in tourism material, and even if you haven’t been to Korea or the Gyeongju area, you will probably have seen it. You will also, if you are like me, have been somewhat underwhelmed by its rather modest appearance, which if anything does it less justice […]

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