As part of its regular “Map Monday” feature, Atlas Obscura looks closely at Frederick de Wit’s Planisphærium cœleste (1670), above. Like other celestial maps of the period, it’s as though the monsters on sea charts have been placed in the skies—especially true for constellations like Cetus, as the article shows.
This reminds me that there’s quite a lot about antique celestial maps in The Map Room’s archives: The Face of the Moon; Star Atlases; Historical Celestial Atlases on the Web; The U.S. Naval Observatory’s Celestial Atlases; Divine Sky: The Artistry of Astronomical Maps; Another Look at the Linda Hall Library’s Celestial Atlases; Christian Constellations.
A book about celestial maps, Nick Kanas’s Star Maps: History, Artistry and Cartography, is now in its second edition (Springer, 2012). I own a copy of the first edition.
Previously about Frederick de Wit: A New Book About Frederick de Wit.
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