Pegasus constellation, 1603

Pegasus constellation, 1603

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pegasus constellation. 17th century engraving of Pegasus the Winged Horse, overlaid with the positions of the stars that make up this constellation. The original tamer and rider of Pegasus was the Greek hero Bellerophon, but later versions replaced him with 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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