Cassiopeia constellation, 1603

Cassiopeia constellation, 1603

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cassiopeia constellation. 17th century engraving of Queen Cassiopeia on her throne, overlaid with the positions of the stars that make up this constellation. Cassiopeia was the mother of Andromeda, the princess rescued from a sea monster by the Greek hero Perseus. This star map is from Uranometria, a star atlas published in 1603 by the German astronomer Johann Bayer. It contained a total of 51 star maps, plotted using the most accurate observations of the time. It was the first star atlas to use reference grids on its maps, and the first to use Greek letters to identify individual stars, though it retained the traditional mythological depictions of the constellations.

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