这幅全长将近两米的显示星星位置的卷子是颇具争议的探险家和学者奥雷尔•斯坦因(Marc Aurel Stein)100年前从中国敦煌带回英国的古籍之一，近年一直收藏在大英图书馆。 星图上标明了不下1339星星的位置，经现代天文学家测定，其中200多颗最明亮星星的位置异常准确。这张图何以到了敦煌石窟里仍是个谜。 避讳 1959年，剑桥大学的中国科技史专家李约瑟(Dr Joseph Needham)看到之后曾推断此图可能是五代后晋(公元936 - 947)年间绘制的，之后50年许多人都沿用了这种说法。
图中星星的位置，尤其是最明亮的那些据说非常精确。 但专家最近重新鉴定，认为星图比李约瑟的估计还要老300年，一个重要根据是图上文字对“民”字的避讳。 大英图书馆国际敦煌项目部主任魏泓博士(Dr Susan Whitfield，又译苏珊•惠特菲尔德)说，看过这张图的中国学者已经提出，这似是为了避讳皇帝名字。 若此，这幅图的年代应定在唐太宗李世民驾崩之后，唐睿宗李旦登基之前，即公元649 – 684之间，因为文中避讳了“民”，却尚没有避讳“旦”。 御用星相师李淳风之作 魏泓博士说，图中文字出现“臣淳风言”的字样，显示原图应是648 – 664年间担当御用星相师的李淳风制作。因为只用其名，不用其姓像是自称，若出自他人之笔的话，出于尊重应用整个姓名才对。 她说卷末画出的手持弓箭的电神所穿的服饰，尤其是帽子的戴法也像是唐代早期绘制的。
图末手持弓箭的电神服饰为研究者提供了线索。 不过，她认为这份图是复制本，理由是有一两个星星的位置画错了地方，另外，图上看不到任何初绘这样一张图所需的坐标方格，而且使用的纸又很薄，可以用于描摹。 中国学者的观点 据报，中国学界过去20多年有不少人都已接受北京大学考古学教授马世长在80年代初期看过这张图后提出的观点，认为此图应当出于公元701 -710之间。
不过魏泓说，睿宗李旦在684年就被武则天立为皇帝，虽后来废了一段时间，但还是应从此便避讳其名，所以应把日期进一步推早。 马世长教授接受《深圳特区报》采访时对新的年代限定表示“略有质疑”，说他要等看魏泓与两位法国天文学家让-马克•博奈-比多(Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud)和弗朗索瓦丝•普热得瑞(Françoise Praderie)的论文，不过他对研究工作表示了赞赏。 不论这份天象图究竟是整整1,300年前绘制，还是更早几十年，没有争议的一点，就是它是迄今为止发现的世界上最古老的手绘星象图。
The map is a recorded image star observation, it is an important tool in astronomy to star identification and position indication. You may think that starmodern only, but in fact, the world's oldest star is China Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes "Dunhuang star".
This picture is nearly two meters in length display stars position papers iscontroversial explorers and scholars Aurel Stein (Marc Aurel Stein) is one of theancient British China back from Dunhuang 100 years ago, in recent years has been the collection at the British library. On the map marked more than 1339 the position of the stars by modern astronomers, determination, of which more than 200 brightest stars in abnormal position accuracy. This picture is still a mysterywhy to Dunhuang cavern. Taboo in 1959, the University of Cambridge expert on the history of technology China Joseph Needham (Dr Joseph Needham) this graph may be inferred saw after five Hou Jin (AD 936 - 947) years drawn after 50 years, many people have used this statement.
Figure in the position of the stars, especially the most bright those who is said to be very accurate. But experts recently re identification, think star than Joseph Needham also estimated 300 years old, an important basis is graph text of"people" of the word taboo. The British Library Director of the internationalDunhuang project department Dr. Wei Hong (Dr Susan Whitfield, also translatedSusan Whitfield) said, have seen the picture of the China scholars have put forward, this is in order to avoid the emperor name. If so, this picture age should be set after the death of Li Shimin Tang Taizong, before Tang Ruizong Li Danascended the throne, that the year 649 - 684 between, because the taboo"people", but there is no taboo "dan". The Royal astrologer Li Chunfeng as Dr. Wei Hong said, in the diagram text appears "Chen Chunfeng words" of the word,show the original should be 648 - 664 years as Royal astrologer Li Chunfeng.Because only its name, not its name as is claimed, if others from the pen words,out of respect for the name of the application. She said with a bow and arrow of God at the end of the electrical volume painted wearing apparel, especially thehat wearing is also like the early Tang Dynasty drawing.
Figure at the end of hand-held electric God dress arrow provides clues forresearchers. However, she believes the figure is a copy of the reason is thatthere are one or two, the positions of the stars draw the wrong place, also on the map can not see any initial draw a picture like this required grid, and the use ofpaper is thin, can be used for tracing. Chinese scholars' viewpoints according to the report, the Chinese scholars over the past 20 years, many people have accepted the Peking University archaeology professor Ma Shichang have seenthis picture in the early 80's after the point, that this figure should be between thead 701 -710.
But Wei Hong said, yejong Li Dan in 684 years has been Wu Zetian made for the emperor, although later spent a period of time, but still should then evade its name, you shall set the date further early. Professor Ma Shichang accept the "Shenzhen daily" interview on the new age limit said "a slight doubt", said he would wait to see Wei Hong and two French astronomer Jean Mark Boni - more than (Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud) and Francois Si - Purederui (Fran C oisePraderie) papers, but he on research work praise. Regardless of the planetariumis actually drawn exactly 1300 years ago, or even earlier decades, not a bitcontroversial, is that it is by far the world's most old hand chart.