"Use of Planetarium software permits us to simulate the night sky more accurately on any date, past or future, at any location," said Levent Gurdemir."This is an example of how we are opening up the Planetarium to research into disciplines beyond astronomy, including geosciences, biology, chemistry, art, literature, architecture, history and even medicine." The Starry Night software demonstrated that in 570 B. 25, which would be the earliest date that the poem could relate to.
As the year progressed, the Pleiades set progressively earlier.
I took the steps to come out to my family and friends.
The moon has set And the Pleiades; It is midnight, The time is going by, And I sleep alone.
(Henry Thornton Wharton, 18) Cuntz and co-author and astronomer Levent Gurdemir, director of the Planetarium at UTA, used advanced software called Starry Night version 7.3, to identify the earliest date that the Pleiades would have set at midnight or earlier in local time in 570 B. The Planetarium system Digistar 5 also allows creating the night sky of ancient Greece for Sappho's place and time.
"Not many ancient poets comment on astronomical observations as clearly as she does." Morteza Khaledi, dean of UTA's College of Science, congratulated the researchers on their work, which forms part of UTA's strategic focus on data-driven discovery within the Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.
"This research helps to break down the traditional silos between science and the liberal arts, by using high-precision technology to accurate date ancient poetry," Khaledi said.
Physicists from the University of Texas used advanced astronomical software to accurately date lyric poet Sappho's 'Midnight Poem,' which describes the Pleiades Sappho was a Greek lyric poet, who was born between 630 and 612 BC on the island of Lesbos, and died around 570 BC.
Detail from a Pompeii fresco painting of Sappho pictured.Her interest in astronomy was not restricted to the "Midnight Poem." Other examples of her work make references to the Sun, the Moon, and planet Venus."Sappho should be considered an informal contributor to early Greek astronomy as well as to Greek society at large," Cuntz added."From there, we were able to accurately seasonally date this poem to mid-winter and early spring, scientifically confirming earlier estimations by other scholars," Cuntz said.Sappho was the leading female poet of her time and closely rivaled Homer."The timing question is complex as at that time they did not have accurate mechanical clocks as we do, only perhaps water clocks" said Cuntz.