Planisphere with constellations, 1540

Planisphere with constellations, 1540

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Planisphere with constellations. This planisphere is from the astronomical atlas Astronomicum Caesareum (1540) by the German printer Petrus Apianus (1495-1552). This atlas was notable for its highly intricate wheel charts (volvelles), of which this planisphere is an example. A volvelle involves several layers of paper placed over each other, which are then rotated to produce the desired result. In this case, to show the appearance of the night sky for a given latitude, time and date. The constellations are represented by artworks of the mythical people and creatures for whom they are named. This view is centred on the Northern Celestial Pole, but extends into the southern hemisphere as well.

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Keywords: 1500s, 1540, 16th century, artwork, astrology, astronomical, astronomicum caesareum, astronomy, celestial, constellation, constellations, diagram, engraving, european, german, historical, history, history of science, illustration, latin, map, mediaeval, medieval, middle ages, mythical, mythology, night sky, northern, northern hemisphere, petrus apianus, planisphere, southern, star atlas, volvelle, wheel chart, zodiac, zodiacal

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