Libra constellation, 1603

Libra constellation, 1603

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Libra constellation. 17th century artwork of a balance scale representing the constellation Libra, one of the 12 star signs of the zodiac. This illustration is from Johann Bayer's Uranometria (Greek for 'sky measurements'), a star atlas and catalogue that contains a total of 51 stellar maps. The book, published in 1603, was the first of its kind since it portrayed the constellations as maps rather than as mythological pictures. Each engraving has a reference grid so that the stars' positions in the sky can be precisely determined.

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