Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 62

Celestial Cartography
Uranometria (1603)
Firmamentum Sobiescianum (1687)
De le stelle fisse (1540)
uPRAESEPE COMPARED These closeups
of the constellation Cancer show how the Beehive
Cluster (Praesepe, M44) was represented
in various star atlases over time. Note that the
cluster is absent in 1540, and that the 1627 and
1687 charts are mirror-reversed.
Coelum Stellatum Christianum (1627)
Atlas Coelestis (1729)
naked-eye " nebulae, " of which only three were true deep-sky
objects: M7, M44, and the Double Cluster. Gallucci's charts
use an external perspective to mimic looking at a celestial
globe from the outside. Such a representation gives a " mirrorreversed "
view, which might appeal to observers using telescopes
that match this orientation.
Uranometria by Johann Bayer (1603). This star atlas
introduced copperplate charts, which show finer detail and
don't degrade as rapidly in the printing process compared
with woodcut blocks. Bayer utilized Tycho Brahe's meticulous
observations to position the stars more accurately than any
previous atlas and introduced the use of Greek letter designations
for the brightest stars. Uranometria's 48 constellation
charts (15 by 11 inches) have a very sparse coordinate system
based on the ecliptic. In addition to M7, M44, M45 (the Pleiades,
shown as six stars), the Double Cluster, and a few false
nebulae, Bayer's atlas was also the first to include the Magellanic
Clouds on a chart depicting the south polar regions,
based on observations by Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon
Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. Uranometria employs a
normal (Earth-based) view of the night sky.
Several more atlases appeared in the 17th and 18th centuries,
following the invention of the telescope:
Coelum Stellatum Christianum by Julius Schiller (1627). As
described by Michael Mendillo in the January 2021 issue of
Sky & Telescope (page 64), Schiller replaced the pagan constellations
with Christian figures. The atlas's 48 constellation
charts (12 by 9.5 inches) have a sparse coordinate system,
again based on the ecliptic. Schiller displayed a few deep-sky
62 JANUARY 2022 * SKY & TELESCOPE
objects, including M7, M31, M44, the Double Cluster, M45
(the Pleiades, this time shown with 10 stars!), the Magellanic
Clouds, as well as a number of false nebulae. These charts
use an external view.
Firmamentum Sobiescianum by Johannes Hevelius (1687).
For the first time, detailed maps of the southern sky appear.
These are based on Edmund Halley's 1676-77 observations
from the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. Their
addition brought the total number of constellation charts (14
by 11 inches) to 54. To M7, M31, M44, the Double Cluster,
the Pleiades, the Magellanic Clouds, and a few false nebulae,
Hevelius added two new southern deep-sky gems discovered
by Halley: Omega Centauri and NGC 6231 in the tail of
Scorpius. Hevelius didn't trust telescopes for star positions
and relied on his own naked-eye observations for those stars
observable from his home in Poland. He introduced 10 new
constellations of his own design, seven of which have survived
to modern times: Canes Venatici, Lacerta, Leo Minor,
Lynx, Scutum, Sextans, and Vulpecula. Firmamentum Sobiescianum
used an external view and a sparse coordinate system
based on the ecliptic.
Atlas Coelestis by John Flamsteed (1729), the first
Astronomer Royal. Flamsteed's opus represents a huge
uTRY THIS AT HOME See if you can use this chart from Bode's Vorstellung
Der Gestirne to locate the deep-sky objects depicted. Note that
M45 is shown as a cluster of stars on the main chart and also at a larger
scale in the upper right corner. Bode's charts are plotted for epoch 1780.
Due to precession, equatorial coordinates have changed a fair bit since
then. (Object labels added by the author.)
COLLECTION OF RAY HARRIS EXCEPT FOR 1603 CHART: COLLECTION OF
JAY AND NAOMI PASACHOFF; BODE'S CHART: COLLECTION OF RAY HARRIS

Sky & Telescope - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - January 2022

Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - 3
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Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - Cover4
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA1
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA2
Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA3
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Sky & Telescope - January 2022 - SA5
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