Astrohistory

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This image is a photo of the Nimrud lens in the British museum. Credit: Geni.

The Hominidae have apparently been on Earth for around seven million years, at least somewhere in Africa and possibly elsewhere. Fortunately and deliberately, many of these have worked out ways to record knowledge about the entities, sources, or objects in the sky.

Contents

Theoretical astrohistory[edit]

Third order polynomials provide a series of statistical calibration curves that highlight lacunae in the carbon-14 samples. Credit: Gunnar Heinsohn.
The Δ14C values in a chronology can clearly be used to identify apparent catastrophic gaps and catastrophic rises in carbon-14. Credit: Gunnar Heinsohn.
The figure shows the number of samples in time for the Central European oak chronology. Credit: Stand.
The center of the graph shows the time axis of conventionally dated historical events. Upper and lower coordinates show reconstructed time tables. The black triangles mark the phantom years. Credit: Hans-Ulrich Niemitz.

The history of looking at the sky from the surface of the Earth usually requires some way to verify that an entity, source, or object is from the past.

At right is an attempt to correlate the change in 14C with time before 1950. The different data sets are shown with different colored third order polynomial fits to each data set.

"The Δ14C values in a chronology can clearly be used to identify catastrophic gaps and catastrophic rises in carbon-14."[1]

The first four gaps have a jump up in 14C with a fairly quick return to the calibration curve shown in the figure on the left. However, from about 2000 b2k there is a steady rise in the Δ14C values.

"A proof-of-concept self-calibrating chronology [based upon the Irish Oak chronology] clearly demonstrates that third order polynomials provide a series of statistical calibration curves that highlight lacunae in the samples."[1]

As indicated in the figures, the data used in the plots comes from radiocarbon dating of Irish Oaks.[2]

Gaps occur near the 1070s and 1470s b2k during the rising Δ14C values.

"The number of suitable samples of wood, which connect Antiquity and the Middle Ages is very small [shown in the second figure on the right]. But only a great number of samples would give certainty against error. For the period about 380 AD we have only 3, for the period about 720 AD only 4 suitable samples of wood (Hollstein 1980,11); usually 50 samples serve for dating."[3]

"The center of the graph [in the third image on the right] shows the time axis of conventionally dated historical events. Upper and lower coordinates show reconstructed time tables. The black triangles mark the phantom years."[3]

"In Frankfurt am Main archaeological excavations did not find any layer for the period between 650 and 910 AD."[3]

Prehistory[edit]

Main sources: History/Prehistory and Prehistory

The prehistory period dates from around 7 x 106 b2k to about 7,000 b2k.

Paleolithic history[edit]

The paleolithic period dates from around 2.6 x 106 b2k to the end of the Pleistocene around 12,000 b2k.

"The Paleolithic ... extends from the earliest known use of stone tools, probably by hominins such as australopithecines, 2.6 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 [Before Present] BP [12,000 b2k].[4] The Paleolithic era is followed by the Mesolithic. The date of the Paleolithic—Mesolithic boundary may vary by locality as much as several thousand years."[5]

"Between 45,000 and 24,000 years ago [modern humans reached as far as 71° north latitude [at a site on the Yana River above the Arctic Circle in Siberia]."[6]

"There were three coastal techno-complexes: the Fosna along the coast of southern Norway, the Hensbacka in southwest Sweden near Bohuslän and the Komsa in northern Norway, all with a forerunner in the late Paleolithic Ahrensburg culture further south (Ibid. 74)."[6]

"By ca. 13,000 BP [13,000 b2k] long stretches of the Norwegian coast were ice-free but, as Hein Bjartmann Bjerck points out, there was “no certain evidence of human settlement in this rich arctic biotope” until near the end of the Younger Dryas (1,300 year cold snap) about 10,000 BP (2008: 65). The earliest evidence of human activity in Scandinavia is during the Early Mesolithic chronozone from 10,020-8,900 BP (9,500-8,000 cal BC); Bjerck lists 37 key sites in Norway (Ibid. 75-78)."[6]

Australian Aboriginal astronomy[edit]

Some Aboriginal artists and elders are teaching astronomers their stories and ways they have viewed the stars way before Galileo was born. Credit: John Morieson.

"What we do know is that things like Stonehenge and the pyramids have only been around for like 5,000 or 6,000 years. So, if this knowledge of astronomy goes back more than about 10% of the time that people have been in Australia it makes the Aboriginal Australians the world's first astronomers."[7]

There's growing evidence that Australia’s indigenous people could be the world’s oldest astronomers.[8]

Stanbridge befriended members of the local Boorong people. They showed him how they viewed the constellations and Stanbridge published their stories in his 1857 essay On the Astronomy and Mythology of the Aborigines of Victoria.[8]

"Stanbridge’s writings recorded the Boorong’s holistic use of astronomy and explained how they integrated their understanding of the stars with knowledge of the land and seasons."[8]

The "constellation western astronomers know as Lyra forms the base of what the Boorong called Neilloan – a malleefowl, whose outline in the night sky heralded the bird’s egg-laying period, as it appears in the southern hemisphere between March and October, coinciding with its mound-building season."[8]

Different "Aboriginal groups have varying interpretations of southern sky constellations. But there are broad similarities between many, such as the Coalsack Nebula (the emu in the sky)."[8]

"When we look at the sun and the moon, in nearly all Aboriginal cultures the moon is male and the sun female. So in Arnhem Land the moon is this man called Ngalindi. He's very fat and lazy and he made his wives and his sons get him his food for him and they got pretty angry about this and actually attacked him with their axes and chopped bits off him until he got thinner and thinner and died. Of course, that is the face of the waning moon. He stays dead for three nights, then he comes back to life again and gradually gets healthier and healthier till he reaches the full moon."[7]

"Interestingly in the 1940s, Charles Mountford was talking to people up in the Northern Territory and asked them that question - is the earth round? In Yolngu culture, like in many Indigenous cultures, the sun is female and she gets up in the east, goes across the sky, goes down in the west, and then moves under the ground back to the east. And Charles Mountford asked this guy, so how does she get back? And the guy picked up a box and said, "Like this." He had a clear idea that the earth was there in space and the sun moved around it, or appeared to move around it, which is interesting. It's not a flat earth. But, if you can go back to the '40s before people started to get a western education, then you find out what the traditional beliefs were. And, yes, the beliefs do seem to be a full recognition of how the earth and sun moved. They also had a recognition of how the moon moved, how it's linked to tides. A lot of understanding of the objects in the sky, a tremendous depth of knowledge."[7]

"Drovers themselves, or station managers, they didn't have a clock or a watch in those days. They used the stars. They could see the evening star, the morning star, the midnight star, will come along where the Milky Way swung from straight across right down. They knew what time it was going to be, daylight."[9]

"When you look up at the sky over a few hours in the night you see the whole sky moving around. Bill Harney talks about how Scorpio goes around like the hands on a watch and that's their clock. You just watch Scorpio move around. So you find so many people right across Australia understood how the sky goes around not just during the day, but during the course of the year as well and when different constellations are up that causes different seasons. When Scorpios is up it's the winter. When Orion is up it's coming to spring and the food starts coming out. And you get lots of people using this to regulate their seasons."[7]

The Wardaman south-west of Katherine, in the Northern Territory, "use many different constellations for a variety of purposes. The Wardaman also use traditional cosmology to tell them about the land, the seasons – even time. When you’re travelling it will tell you where to go. You can tell by the stars what time it is without a watch."[10]

"You can see where we call Bonin. Bonin means the Milky Way. The world is spinning around. You know, each different hour the Milky Way is turning. Uca in the Milky Way where the Emu's beak standing over near the Southern Cross between the Pointers. We call that Nardi [Sky Boss] and Dungdung {Earth Mother]. And in front of that we say, that's Emu's footprints, which is the Southern Cross."[9]

"One of the big differences between some of the Aboriginal constellations and the European constellations is that European constellations are all made of stars. You join the dots between the constellations. The emu in the sky is made of the dark clouds in the Milky Way. And you find it right across Australia this emu in the sky. So, the people in Ku-Rin-Gai National Park they saw the emu. We think they engraved this picture of an emu on the ground. This picture happens to be in the right orientation, so that when the emu in the sky is above this picture it's just the time the emus are laying their eggs. So it's the right time to harvest their eggs."[7]

"And interestingly there's a site down in Victoria, a place called Wurdi Youang, it's a big stone arrangement - about 50 metres across [shown in the image on the right]. They're underneath the place on the horizon where the sun sets - the mid-winter sun, mid-summer sun, and the equinoxes. So there's fairly strong evidence now that this site was actually built by the Aboriginal people hundreds or thousands of years ago to point towards these places in the horizon, where the sun sets these special times of the year. There are still sceptics and if you really want to convince those sceptics I think what we really need to do is to find other sites like that."[7]

"The egg-shaped ring of stones is known as the Wurdi Youang stone arrangement. It's located in Wathaurung country which is near Ballarat in Victoria. These scientists say that it might be more than 11,000 years old, which would make the Wathaurung people the world's first astronomers."[11]

"The Wurdi Youang stone arrangement seems to map the different setting positions of the sun throughout the year. That would show the changing of seasons, allowing the Wathaurung people to identify when certain foods were available throughout the year. You can think of it like an ancient calendar."[11]

"For example, while most western cultures know this group of stars as the saucepan. For the Yolngu people in the NT it's known as Djulpan or the Canoe. It tells the story of three brothers who went fishing. All they could catch were king fish. But because they were from the Nulkal clan, which means King-fish, they weren't allowed to eat any of them one of the brothers became so hungry he ate one anyway. Walu, the sun woman, saw this and got angry so she created a waterspout that lifted them right up into the sky where they stayed forever."[11]

"Other Indigenous groups saw the stars differently. Instead of using the stars to map shapes, they used the dark spaces between them. Like the Emu in the sky, which is used in various East Coast Aboriginal groups and is located right next to the southern cross."[11]

From Western Australia’s Inggarda language group, "Aboriginal ancestral narratives aren’t just about the land – they’re also about the Sun, the Moon and the stars.”[12]

“Indigenous people have a very holistic understanding of the universe. It doesn’t just stop at the horizon.”[12]

Arnhem Land’s Yolngu people have ancestral narratives about tides, eclipses, the rising and setting of the Sun, Moon and planets.[12]

To Victoria’s Kulin Nation people, based around Melbourne, the Southern Cross represents Bundjil, a sky god in the form of an eagle.[13]

For the Anindilyakwa of Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Southern Cross is two fishermen and their cooking fires.[13]

Coastal SA’s Ngarrindjeri people see the Southern Cross as a stingray chased by two sharks – the two pointers adjacent the cross. The shark is a sacred Ngarrindjeri totem.[13]

The Boorong people – a group that no longer exists but has descendents in Victoria – saw the Southern Cross as ringtail possum Bunya hiding in a tree from the wicked emu Tchingal whose silhouette could be seen in the Coalsack Nebula.[13]

The Arrernte people of Central Australia see the Southern Cross as the wedge-tailed eagle Waluwara. The four brightest stars make up his talons; the Coalsack Nebula his nest.[13]

Chinese astronomy[edit]

"At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC [8,000 to 7,000 b2k] have been discovered, "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing." These pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese.[14][15]"[16]

"[The Chinese] were the most persistent and accurate observers of celestial phenomena anywhere in the world before the Arabs."[17]

"Star names later categorized in the twenty-eight mansions have been found on oracle bones unearthed at Anyang, dating back to the middle Shang Dynasty (Chinese Bronze Age), and the mansion (xiù:宿) system's nucleus seems to have taken shape by the time of the ruler Wu Ding (1339-1281 BC, [3339-3281 b2k]).[18]"[19]

"It is believed that the first pretelescopic astronomers were the Chinese due to conclusive evidence such as the Gan Shi Xing Jing (the oldest recorded star catalog which was produced during the 5th century BCE)."[20]

Mesolithic[edit]

The mesolithic period dates from around 13,000 to 8,500 b2k.

The earliest traces of human settlement in Norway occur along the coast between 11,000 and 8,000 BC (13,000 to 10,000 b2k) during the Mesolithic, specifically the Younger Dryas period, include stone tools dated to between 11,000 b2k and 8,500 b2k.[21]

Ancient history[edit]

The ancient history period dates from around 8,000 to 3,000 b2k.

The modern scientific discipline of astronomy focuses on reproducibility and physical theory to explain and describe observations. Many ancient observers produced remarkably reproducible calendars such as the Mayan Long Count calendar which apparently goes from August 11, 3114 BCE, to October 13, 4772, and beyond.

"Ancient [astronomical] history is the aggregate of past [observed astronomical] events[22] from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Sumerian Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC.[23]"[24]

And, on the telescope, there is this: "There are indeed ancient tablets that mention astronomers' lenses supported by a golden tube to enlarge the pupil, and in Nineveh a rock crystal lens was found (Pettinato 1998). Maybe one day a new archaeological excavation will find a Babylonian telescope for the first time."[25]

Egyptian astronomy[edit]

"Egyptian astronomy begins in prehistoric times, in the Predynastic Period. In the 5th millennium BCE [7,000 to 6,000 b2k], the stone circles at Nabta Playa may have made use of astronomical alignments. By the time the historical Dynastic Period began in the 3rd millennium BCE [5,000 to 4,000 b2k], the 365 day period of the Egyptian calendar was already in use, and the observation of stars was important in determining the annual flooding of the Nile. The Egyptian pyramids were carefully aligned towards the pole star, and the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak was aligned on the rising of the midwinter sun. Astronomy played a considerable part in fixing the dates of religious festivals and determining the hours of the night, and temple astrologers were especially adept at watching the stars and observing the conjunctions, phases, and risings of the Sun, Moon and planets."[26]

Mayan astronomy[edit]

This is a small section of the glyphs carved into La Mojarra Stela 1 with the Mayan Long Count on the left. Credit: Madman2001.

The Mayan Mesoamerican Long Count calendar apparently starts on August 11, 3114 BCE [5114 b2k].

"The Maya were keen astronomers and had mapped out the phases of celestial objects, especially the Moon and Venus. Many temples have doorways and other features aligning to celestial events. Round temples, often dedicated to Kukulcan, are perhaps those most often described as "observatories" by modern ruin tour-guides, but there is no evidence that they were so used exclusively, and temple pyramids of other shapes may well have been used for observation as well."[27]

"They produced extremely accurate astronomical observations; their charts of the movements of the moon and planets were used to predict eclipses and other celestial events such the time between conjunctions of Venus.[28] The accuracy of their astronomy and the "theoretical" calendar derived from it was superior to any other known from seventeen hundred years ago.[29][30]"[27]

"Uniquely, there is some evidence to suggest the Maya appear to be the only pre-telescopic civilization to demonstrate knowledge of the Orion Nebula as being fuzzy, i.e. not a stellar pin-point. The information which supports this theory comes from a folk tale that deals with the Orion constellation's area of the sky. Their traditional hearths include in their middle a smudge of glowing fire that corresponds with the Orion Nebula. This is a significant clue to support the idea that the Maya detected a diffuse area of the sky contrary to the pin points of stars before the telescope was invented.[31] Many preclassic sites are oriented with the Pleiades and Eta Draconis, as seen in La Blanca, Ujuxte, Monte Alto, and Takalik Abaj."[27]

"The Maya were very interested in zenial passages, the time when the sun passes directly overhead. The latitude of most of their cities being below the Tropic of Cancer, these zenial passages would occur twice a year equidistant from the solstice."[27]

"The Dresden Codex contains the highest concentration of astronomical phenomena observations and calculations of any of the surviving texts (it appears that the data in this codex is primarily or exclusively of an astronomical nature). Examination and analysis of this codex reveals that Venus was the most important astronomical object to the Maya, even more important to them than the sun."[27]

Hindu astronomy[edit]

5102 b2k, is the historical year assigned to a Hindu table of planets that does include the Sun, Mercury (or Hermes), "Hermès observait en -1660; donc les Indiens observaient en -3102, et ils observaient bien!", the Moon, Mars is mentioned, Jupiter, Saturn, but does not include Venus.[32] "Vénus seule ne s'y trouvait pas."[32] "Venus alone is not found there."[33]

Scandinavian astronomy[edit]

The Trundholm Sun chariot pulled by a horse is a sculpture believed to be illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology. It is displayed at the National Museum of Denmark. Credit: Malene Thyssen.
The left side of the disk shows no traces of gilding. Credit: Malene Thyssen.

"The sculpture [imaged at left and right] is dated by the Nationalmuseet to about 1800 to 1600 BCE [3800 to 3600 b2k], though other dates have been suggested."[34]

"The occurrence of a supposedly Norse word (long-bata, i.e., longboat or ship) parallels other Norse words and personal names found on Celtiberian steles, and suggests that Norsemen were abroad long before the Viking age."[35]

Sumerian astronomy[edit]

"[M]any star names [in the earliest Babylonian star catalogues] appear in Sumerian [suggesting] a continuity reaching into the Early Bronze Age."[36]

"[T]he Sumerians ... developed the earliest writing system—known as cuneiform—around 3500–3200 BC. The Sumerians developed a form of astronomy that had an important influence on the sophisticated astronomy of the Babylonians."[36]

"Sumerian astronomers were the first to keep written records of what they learned about the heavens."[37] "A form of writing known as cuneiform emerged among the Sumerians around 3500–3000 BC [5500-5000 b2k]."[38]

Babylonian astronomy[edit]

"Old Babylonian astronomy refers to the astronomy that was practiced during and after the First Babylonian Dynasty (ca. 1830 BC) and before the Neo-Babylonian Empire (ca. 626 BC)."[36] Bold added.

"The Babylonians were the first to recognize that astronomical phenomena are periodic and apply mathematics to their predictions. Tablets dating back to the Old Babylonian period document the application of mathematics to the variation in the length of daylight over a solar year. Centuries of Babylonian observations of celestial phenomena are recorded in the series of cuneiform tablets known as the Enûma Anu Enlil—the oldest significant astronomical text that we possess is Tablet 63 of the Enûma Anu Enlil, the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa, which lists the first and last visible risings of Venus over a period of about 21 years. It is the earliest evidence that planetary phenomena were recognized as periodic."[36]

"The MUL.APIN contains catalogues of stars and constellations as well as schemes for predicting heliacal risings and settings of the planets, and lengths of daylight as measured by a water clock, gnomon, shadows, and intercalations. The Babylonian GU text arranges stars in 'strings' that lie along declination circles and thus measure right-ascensions or time intervals, and also employs the stars of the zenith, which are also separated by given right-ascensional differences.[39] There are dozens of cuneiform Mesopotamian texts with real observations of eclipses, mainly from Babylonia."[36]

"[T]he earliest Babylonian star catalogues [date] from about 1200 BCE [3200 b2k]."[36]

~3000 b2k: “In the early first millennium BCE, Babylonian astronomers observed that the Sun's motion along the ecliptic was not uniform”[40].

"During the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, Babylonian astronomers developed a new empirical approach to astronomy. They began studying philosophy dealing with the ideal nature of the universe and began employing an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems. This was an important contribution to astronomy and the philosophy of science, and some scholars have thus referred to this new approach as the first scientific revolution.[41]"[36]

"Only fragments of Babylonian astronomy have survived, consisting largely of contemporary clay tablets with ephemerides and procedure texts, hence current knowledge of Babylonian planetary theory is in a fragmentary state.[42]"[36]

"[T]he first and highly successful attempt at giving a refined mathematical description of astronomical phenomena ... all subsequent varieties of scientific astronomy, in the Hellenistic world, in India, in Islam, and in the West—if not indeed all subsequent endeavour in the exact sciences—depend upon Babylonian astronomy in decisive and fundamental ways."[43]

Celtic astronomy[edit]

"Mercury was the most honoured of all the gods and many images of him were to be found. Mercury was regarded as the inventor of all the arts, the patron of travellers and of merchants, and the most powerful god in matters of commerce and gain. After him, the Gauls honoured Apollo, who drove away diseases, Mars, who controlled war, Jupiter, who ruled the heavens, and Minerva, who promoted handicrafts. He adds that the Gauls regarded Dis Pater as their ancestor.[44] ... [The names of Roman gods] are coupled with native Celtic theonyms and epithets, such as Mercury Visucius, Lenus Mars, Jupiter Poeninus, or Sulis Minerva."[45]

"Lugh probably meant a devotee of the Celtic god Lug (or Mercury, it is supposed)."[35]

Early history[edit]

Main sources: History/Early and Early history

The early history period dates from around 3,000 to 2,000 b2k.

"About 280 B.C. [2280 b2k], ... Aristarchus of Samos proposed the hypothesis that the Sun is at rest, while the Earth and the planets rotate about the Sun."[46] "Aristarchus also figured out how to measure the distances to the Sun and the Moon and their sizes."[47]

The celestial sphere may have been produced very early: "According to records, the first celestial globe was made by Geng Shou-chang (耿壽昌) between 70 BC and 50 BC. In the Ming Dynasty, the celestial globe at that time was a huge globe, showing the 28 mansions, celestial equator and ecliptic. None of them have survived."[19]

Classical history[edit]

The Dunhuang Star Atlas is the last section of Or.8210/S.3326. Credit: Unknown.
This is an image of the Dunhuang map from the Tang Dynasty of the North Polar region. Constellations of the three schools are distinguished with different colors: white, black and yellow for stars of Wu Xian, Gan De and Shi Shen respectively. Credit: Laurascudder, from: Brian J. Ford (1993). Images of Science: A History of Scientific Illustration, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195209834.
The Mainz celestial globe is the last known celestial globe of Roman antiquity (1850-1780 b2k, 11 cm diameter). Credit: Gunnar Heinsohn.
These are constellation illustrations on the last known celestial globe of Roman antiquity. Credit: Gunnar Heinsohn.

The classical history period dates from around 2,000 to 1,000 b2k.

The Dunhuang map from the Tang Dynasty of the North Polar region at right is thought to date from the reign of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang (705–710). Constellations of the three schools are distinguished with different colors: white, black and yellow for stars of Wu Xian, Gan De and Shi Shen respectively. The whole set of star maps contains 1,300 stars.

The Dunhuang Star Atlas, the last section of manuscript Or.8210/S.3326. It is "the oldest manuscript star atlas known today from any civilisation, probably dating from around AD 700. It shows a complete representation of the Chinese sky in 13 charts with over 1300 stars named and accurately presented."[48]

"The Dunhuang Star Atlas [above center] forms the second part of a longer scroll (Or.8210/S.3326) that measures 210 cm long by 24.4 cm wide and is made of fine paper in thirteen separate panels."[48]

"The first part of the scroll is a manual for divination based on the shape of clouds. The twelve charts showing different sections of the sky follow these. The stars are named and there is also explanatory text. The final chart is of the north-polar region. The chart is detailed, showing a total of 1345 stars in 257 clearly marked and named asterisms, or constellations, including all twenty-eight mansions."[48]

"The importance of the chart lies in both its accuracy and graphic quality. The chart includes both bright and faint stars, visible to the naked eye from north central China".[48]

The last known celestial globe shown at the right dates from 1850 to 1780 b2k. The constellation illustrations from the Mainz celestial globe are shown at the left.

Recent history[edit]

Main sources: History/Recent and Recent history

The recent history period dates from around 1,000 b2k to present.

The divisions of history for astronomy are sincerely based on the belief that the trained astronomers of today are different from the observers of antiquity. One fundamental differentiator is technology.

A big boon to visual astronomy is the telescope.

"The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s (the 17th century), using glass lenses."[49]

Archeoastronomy[edit]

Main source: Archeoastronomy
The rising Sun illuminates the inner chamber of Newgrange, Ireland, only at the winter solstice. Credit: Richard Gallagher.

Today, astronomical history is usually divided into three parts: archaeoastronomy, historical astronomy, and the history of astronomy. These divisions are sincerely based on the belief that the trained astronomers of today are different from the observers of antiquity.

"Archaeoastronomy (also spelled archeoastronomy) is the study of how people in the past "have understood the phenomena in the sky how they used phenomena in the sky and what role the sky played in their cultures."[50]

"Clive Ruggles argues it is misleading to consider archaeoastronomy to be the study of ancient astronomy, as modern astronomy is a scientific discipline, while archaeoastronomy considers other cultures' symbolically rich cultural interpretations of phenomena in the sky.[51][52]"[53]

Historical astronomy[edit]

The astronomer Clyde Tombaugh is the discoverer of Pluto. Credit: NASA.

"Historical astronomy is the science of analysing historic astronomical data. The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established [in] 1899, states that its Historical Astronomy Division "...shall exist for the purpose of advancing interest in topics relating to the historical nature of astronomy. By historical astronomy we include the history of astronomy; what has come to be known as archaeoastronomy; and the application of historical records to modern astrophysical problems."[54] Historical and ancient observations are used to track theoretically long term trends, such as eclipse patterns and the velocity of nebular clouds.[55] Conversely, utilizing known and well documented phenomenological activity, historical astronomers ... apply computer models to verify the validity of ancient observations, as well as dating such observations and documents which would otherwise be unknown."[56]

History of astronomy[edit]

The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1733. Credit: Knowledge Seeker.

"Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences, dating back to antiquity, with its origins in the religious, mythological, and astrological practices of pre-history: vestiges of these are still found in astrology, a discipline long interwoven with public and governmental astronomy, and not completely disentangled from it until a few centuries ago in the Western World (see astrology and astronomy). In some cultures astronomical data was used for astrological prognostication. Ancient astronomers were able to differentiate between stars and planets, as stars remain relatively fixed over the centuries while planets will move an appreciable amount during a comparatively short time."[38]

Andromeda[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Andromeda and Andromeda
Johannes Hevelius's depiction of Andromeda is from the 1690 edition of his Uranographia. As was conventional for celestial atlases of the time, the constellation is a mirror image of modern maps as it was drawn from a perspective outside the celestial sphere. Credit: Hevelius.
Andromeda as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c. 1825, showing the constellation from the inside of the celestial sphere. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Andromeda is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy [...] The uranography of Andromeda has its roots most firmly in the Greek tradition".[57]

"In Chinese astronomy, the stars that make up Andromeda were members of four different constellations that had astrological and mythological significance [...] In traditional Chinese astronomy, nine stars from Andromeda (including Beta Andromedae, Mu Andromedae, and Nu Andromedae), along with seven stars from Pisces, formed an elliptical constellation called "Legs"".[57]

A "constellation related to Andromeda also exists in Hindu mythology."[57]

A "female figure in Andromeda's location had appeared earlier in Babylonian astronomy. The stars that make up Pisces and the middle portion of modern Andromeda formed a constellation representing a fertility goddess, sometimes named as Anunitum or the Lady of the Heavens."[57]

"An Arab constellation called "al-Hut" (the fish) was composed of several stars in Andromeda, M31, and several stars in Pisces. [Nu Andromedae] ν And, [Mu Andromedae] μ And, [Beta Andromedae] β And, [Eta Andromedae] η And, [Zeta Andromedae] ζ And, [Epsilon Andromedae] ε And, [Delta Andromedae] δ And, [Pi Andromedae] π And, and [32 Andromedae] 32 And were all included from Andromeda; [Nu Piscium] ν Psc, [Phi Piscium] φ Psc, [Chi Piscium] χ Psc, and [Psi Piscium] ψ Psc were included from Pisces."[57]

"Andromeda is also associated with the Mesopotamian creation story of Tiamat, the goddess of Chaos. She bore many demons for her husband, Apsu, but eventually decided to destroy them in a war that ended when Marduk killed her. He used her body to create the constellations as markers of time for humans."[57]

"In the Marshall Islands, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Triangulum, and Aries are incorporated into a constellation representing a porpoise. Andromeda's bright stars are mostly in the body of the porpoise; Cassiopeia represents its tail and Aries its head."[57]

"In the Tuamotu islands, Alpha Andromedae was called Takurua-e-te-tuki-hanga-ruki, meaning "Star of the wearisome toil""[57]

Andromeda is also in Urania's Mirror Plate 5 c. 1825.

Anser[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Anser and Anser
Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser are on plate 14. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Antinous[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Antinous and Antinous
Delphinus, Sagitta, Aquila, and Antinous are depicted on plate 13. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Antlia[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Antlia and Antlia
On Lacaille’s original 1756 planisphere Antlia is a simple single-cylinder pump for evacuating a glass jar. Credit: Nicolas Louis de Lacaille.
Johann Bode's depiction of Antlia. Credit: Johann Bode.
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"One of the constellations of the southern sky introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille on his map of 1756 to symbolize experimental physics. He originally called it la Machine Pneumatique [on the right] but Latinized this to Antlia Pneumatica on the second edition of the map published in 1763. Following a suggestion by John Herschel, the English astronomer Francis Baily shortened its name to just Antlia in his British Association Catalogue of 1845, and it has been known as that ever since."[58]

"The air pump [the second image down on the right is] shown as a complex piece of apparatus in the Uranographia of Johann Bode (1801)."[58]

The "most prominent stars that now comprise Antlia were once included within the ancient constellation Argo Navis, the Ship of the Argonauts, which due to its immense size was split into several smaller constellations by Lacaille in 1763.[59][60] However, given the faintness and obscurity of its stars, most authorities do not believe that the ancient Greeks included Antlia as part of their classical depiction of Argo Navis.[61]"[62]

"One Chinese constellation in this area, Dong’ou, is thought to have incorporated at least two stars of present-day Antlia, one of them being Iota Antliae; two or three other stars of Dong’ou were farther south in Vela. Dong’ou was named after a place in Zhejiang province, on the southeastern coast of China, where barbarians were said to live. Several more stars in western Antlia, including Epsilon, Eta and Theta, were part of Tianmiao, the celestial temple, most of which lay in Pyxis."[58]

Apus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Apus and Apus

"Apus is a faint constellation in the southern sky, first defined in the late 16th century."[63]

"Apus was one of twelve constellations created by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman and it first appeared on a 35 cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius with Jodocus Hondius.[64][65] Plancius called the constellation "Paradysvogel Apis Indica"; the first word is Dutch for 'bird of paradise,' of genus Pteridophora, but the others are Latin for "Indian Bee," although "apis" (Latin for "bee") is presumably an error for "avis" or "bird".[65]"[63]

"After its introduction on Plancius's globe, the first known depiction of the constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603, where it was called "Apis Indica".[65]"[63]

"When the Ming Dynasty Chinese astronomer Xu Guangqi adapted the European southern hemisphere constellations to the Chinese system in The Southern Asterisms, he combined Apus with some of the stars in Octans to form the "Exotic Bird" (異雀, Yìquè).[66]"[63]

Aquarius[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Aquarius and Aquarius
A representation of Aquarius printed in 1825 as part of Urania's Mirror, (including a now-obsolete constellation, Ballon Aerostatique south of it). Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Aquarius is [...] one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century AD astronomer Ptolemy [...] It is found in a region often called the Sea due to its profusion of constellations with watery associations such as Cetus the whale, Pisces the fish, and Eridanus the river.[67]"[68]

"In the first century CE, Ptolemy's Almagest established the common Western depiction of Aquarius. His water jar, an asterism itself, consists of Gamma, Pi, Eta, and Zeta Aquarii; it pours water in a stream of more than 20 stars terminating with Fomalhaut, now assigned solely to Piscis Austrinus. The water bearer's head is represented by 5th magnitude 25 Aquarii while his left shoulder is Beta Aquarii; his right shoulder and forearm are represented by Alpha and Gamma Aquarii respectively."[68]

"Aquarius is identified as GU.LA "The Great One" in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Ea himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase. The Babylonian star-figure appears on entitlement stones and cylinder seals from the second millennium. It contained the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age.[69] In Old Babylonian astronomy, Ea was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun's path, the "Way of Ea", corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. Aquarius was also associated with the destructive floods that the Babylonians regularly experienced, and thus was negatively connoted.[67] In Ancient Egypt, Aquarius was associated with the annual flood of the Nile; the banks were said to flood when Aquarius put his jar into the river, beginning spring.[70]"[68]

"In Greek mythology, Aquarius is sometimes associated with Deucalion, the son of Prometheus who built a ship with his wife Pyrrha to survive an imminent flood. They sailed for nine days before washing ashore on Mount Parnassus.[67][71] Aquarius is also sometimes identified with beautiful Ganymede, a youth in Greek mythology and the son of Trojan king Tros, who was taken to Mount Olympus by Zeus to act as cup-carrier to the gods.[72][64][71] Neighboring Aquila represents the eagle, under Zeus' command, that snatched the young boy;[73] some versions of the myth indicate that the eagle was in fact Zeus transformed. An alternative version of the tale recounts Ganymede's kidnapping by the goddess of the dawn, Eos, motivated by her affection for young men; Zeus then stole him from Eos and employed him as cup-bearer. Yet another figure associated with the water bearer is Cecrops I, a king of Athens who sacrificed water instead of wine to the gods.[71]"[68]

"In Chinese astronomy, the stream of water flowing from the Water Jar was depicted as the "Army of Yu-Lin" (Yu-lin-kiun or Yulinjun). The name "Yu-lin" means "feathers and forests", referring to the numerous light-footed soldiers from the northern reaches of the empire represented by these faint stars.[70][71] The constellation's stars were the most numerous of any Chinese constellation, numbering 45, the majority of which were located in modern Aquarius. The celestial army was protected by the wall Leibizhen, which counted Iota, Lambda, Phi, and Sigma Aquarii among its 12 stars.[71] 88, 89, and 98 Aquarii represent Fou-youe, the axes used as weapons and for hostage executions. Also in Aquarius is Loui-pi-tchin, the ramparts that stretch from 29 and 27 Piscium and 33 and 30 Aquarii through Phi, Lambda, Sigma, and Iota Aquarii to Delta, Gamma, Kappa, and Epsilon Capricorni.[70]"[68]

"Near the border with Cetus, the axe Fuyue was represented by three stars; its position is disputed and may have instead been located in Sculptor. Tienliecheng also has a disputed position; the 13-star castle replete with ramparts may have possessed Nu and Xi Aquarii but may instead have been located south in Piscis Austrinus. The Water Jar asterism was seen to the ancient Chinese as the tomb, Fenmu. Nearby, the emperors' mausoleum Xiuliang stood, demarcated by Kappa Aquarii and three other collinear stars. Ku ("crying") and Qi ("weeping"), each composed of two stars, were located in the same region.[71]"[68]

"Three of the Chinese lunar mansions shared their name with constellations. Nu, also the name for the 10th lunar mansion, was a handmaiden represented by Epsilon, Mu, 3, and 4 Aquarii. The 11th lunar mansion shared its name with the constellation Xu ("emptiness"), formed by Beta Aquarii and Alpha Equulei; it represented a bleak place associated with death and funerals. Wei, the rooftop and 12th lunar mansion, was a V-shaped constellation formed by Alpha Aquarii, Theta Pegasi, and Epsilon Pegasi; it shared its name with two other Chinese constellations, in modern-day Scorpius and Aries.[71]"[68]

Aquila[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Aquila and Aquila
Delphinus, Sagitta, Aquila, and Antinous are depicted on plate 13. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"The former constellation Antinous was merged into Aquilla in 1930, but both can be seen in this 1825 chart from Urania's Mirror."[74]

"Aquila was one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It had been earlier mentioned by Eudoxus in the 4th century BC and Aratus in the 3rd century BC."[74]

"The constellation was also known as Vultur volans (the flying vulture) to the Romans, not to be confused with Vultur cadens which was their name for Lyra. It is often held to represent the eagle who held Zeus's/Jupiter's thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology. Aquila is also associated with the eagle who kidnapped Ganymede, a son of one of the kings of Troy (associated with Aquarius), to Mount Olympus to serve as cup-bearer to the gods."[74]

"Ptolemy catalogued nineteen stars jointly in this constellation and in the now obsolete constellation of Antinous, which was named in the reign of the emperor Hadrian (AD 117–138), but sometimes erroneously attributed to Tycho Brahe, who catalogued twelve stars in Aquila and seven in Antinous. Hevelius determined twenty-three stars in the first[75] and nineteen in the second.[75]"[74]

"The Greek Aquila is probably based on the Babylonian constellation of the Eagle (MUL.A.MUSHEN), which is located in the same area as the Greek constellation.[76]"[74]

"In Greek mythology, Aquila is identified as the eagle that carried Zeus’ thunderbolts and was once dispatched by the god to carry Ganymede, the young Trojan boy Zeus desired, to Olympus to be the cup bearer of the gods."[77]

"In anothery story, the eagle is found guarding the arrow of Eros (represented by the constellation Sagitta), which hit Zeus and made him love-struck."[77]

"In yet another myth, Aquila represents Aphrodite disguised as an eagle, pretending to pursue Zeus in the form of a swan, so that Zeus’ love interest, the goddess Nemesis, would give him shelter. In the story, Zeus later placed the images of the eagle and the swan among the stars to commemorate the event."[77]

Ara[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Ara and Ara
This is Johann Elert Bode's illustration of Ara, from his Uranographia (1801). Credit: Johann Elert Bode.

"Ara was one of the 48 Greek constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy"[78]

"In illustrations, Ara is usually depicted as an altar with its smoke 'rising' southward. However, depictions of Ara often vary in their details. In the early days of printing, a 1482 woodcut of Gaius Julius Hyginus's classic Poeticon Astronomicon depicts the altar as surrounded by demons.[79] Johann Bayer in 1603 depicted Ara as an altar with burning incense; the flames rise southward as in most atlases. Hyginus also depicted Ara as an altar with burning incense, though his Ara featured devils on either side of the flames. However, Willem Blaeu, a Dutch uranographer active in the 16th and 17th centuries, drew Ara as an altar designed for sacrifice, with a burning animal offering. Unlike most depictions, the smoke from Blaeu's Ara rises northward, represented by Alpha Arae. A more unusual depiction of Ara comes from Aratus, a Greek uranographer, in 270 BCE. He drew Ara as a lighthouse, where Alpha. Beta, Epsilon, and Zeta Arae represent the base, and Eta Arae represents the flames at the lighthouse's light.[80]"[78]

"In ancient Greek mythology, Ara was identified as the altar where the gods first made offerings and formed an alliance before defeating the Titans.[64] The nearby Milky Way represents the smoke rising from the offerings on the altar.[81]"[78]

"In Chinese astronomy, the stars of the constellation Ara lie within The Azure Dragon of the East (東方青龍, Dōng Fāng Qīng Lóng).[82]"[78]

Argo Navis[edit]

The Argo Navis constellation is displayed from Uranographia. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

The view of Argo Navis in the image on the right is mirrored following the tradition of celestial globes, showing the celestial sphere in a view from "ouside".

"Argo Navis was a large southern constellation representing the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts. It is the only one of Ptolemy's list of 48 constellations which is no longer officially recognised as a constellation, having been broken up into Carina (the keel of the ship), Puppis (the poop) and Vela (the sails)."[83]

Aries[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Aries and Aries
Aries and Musca Borealis as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

The constellation Aries is included on plate 16 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

"In the Marshall Islands, [Aries is] incorporated into a constellation representing a porpoise. [...] Aries [represents] its head."[57]

"Three of the Chinese lunar mansions shared their name with constellations. [...] Wei, the rooftop and 12th lunar mansion, was a V-shaped constellation formed by Alpha Aquarii, Theta Pegasi, and Epsilon Pegasi; it shared its name with two other Chinese constellations, in modern-day Scorpius and Aries.[71]"[68]

Atelier Typographique[edit]

Monoceros, Canis Minor, and Atelier Typographique are shown on plate 31 in Urania's Mirror. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Auriga[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Auriga and Auriga
The painting is entitled Finding of Erichthonius; Erichthonius and Auriga are often associated. Credit: Peter Paul Rubens.
Auriga carryies the goat and kids as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of illustrated constellation cards, London circa 1825. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

The constellation Auriga is centered on Card 7 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Ballon Aerostatique[edit]

A representation of Aquarius printed in 1825 as part of Urania's Mirror, (including a now-obsolete constellation, Ballon Aerostatique south of it). Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Boötes[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Boötes and Boötes
This card shows Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Boötes was one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy and is now one of the 88 modern constellations."[84]

"In ancient Babylon the stars of Boötes were known as SHU.PA. They were apparently depicted as the god Enlil, who was the leader of the Babylonian pantheon and special patron of farmers.[85]"[84]

Caelum[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Caelum and Caelum
Seen is "Cela Sculptoris", Caelum, in the lower right of this 1825 star chart from Urania's Mirror, including Canis Major, Lepus, and Columba. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Cela Sculptoris", Caelum, is in the lower right of this 1825 star chart from Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror

Camelopardalis[edit]

Camelopardalis, Tarandus and Custos Messium are on plate 2. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Camelopardalis is depicted in plate 2 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Cancer[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Cancer and Cancer
Cancer occupies plate 19. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Cancer the crab occupies plate 19 on the right of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Canes Venatici[edit]

This card shows Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Canes Venatici is depicted on plate 10 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Canis Major[edit]

Seen is "Cela Sculptoris", Caelum, in the lower right of this 1825 star chart from Urania's Mirror, including Canis Major, Lepus, and Columba. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Canis Major is depicted on the right in plate 30 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Canis Minor[edit]

Monoceros, Canis Minor, and Atelier Typographique are shown on plate 31 in Urania's Mirror. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

In plate 31 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror on the right is included Canis Minor.

Capricornus[edit]

Capricornus is on plate 25. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Capricornus almost completely fills plate 25 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Caput Medusae[edit]

Perseus and Caput Medusae are on plate 6. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Carina[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Carina and Carina
The Argo Navis constellation is displayed from Uranographia. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.

The view of Argo Navis in the image on the right is mirrored following the tradition of celestial globes, showing the celestial sphere in a view from "ouside".

"Argo Navis was a large southern constellation representing the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts. It is the only one of Ptolemy's list of 48 constellations which is no longer officially recognised as a constellation, having been broken up into Carina (the keel of the ship), Puppis (the poop) and Vela (the sails)."[83]

Cassiopeia[edit]

Cassiopeia is on plate 3. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Cassiopeia occurs on plate 3 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

"In the Marshall Islands, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Triangulum, and Aries are incorporated into a constellation representing a porpoise. Andromeda's bright stars are mostly in the body of the porpoise; Cassiopeia represents its tail and Aries its head."[57]

"Bode in his catalogue Allgemeine Beschreibung und Nachweisung der Gestirne of 1801 assigned it 46 stars of 5th to 7th magnitude plus one deep-sky object, the galaxy NGC 1184. Most of these are now within the borders of northern Cepheus."[86]

"The Sami people of northern Scandinavia also visualized a reindeer called Sarvvis among the stars, but theirs was much bigger, incorporating Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia and Cepheus."[86]

Centaurus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Centaurus and Centaurus
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

In plate 32 from Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror on the right, Centaurus is below Corvus to the left.

Cepheus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Cepheus and Cepheus
Cepheus is on plate 4. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Cepheus is on plate 4 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

"The Sami people of northern Scandinavia also visualized a reindeer called Sarvvis among the stars, but theirs was much bigger, incorporating Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia and Cepheus."[86]

Cerberus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Cerberus and Cerberus
Hercules, Cerberus, and Corona Borealis are on plate 11. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Cetus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Cetus and Cetus
Psalterium Georgii, Fluvius Eridanus, Cetus, Officina Sculptoris, Fornax Chemica, and Machina Electrica are on plate 28. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Chamaeleon[edit]

Circinus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Circinus and Circinus

Columba[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Columba and Columba
Seen is "Cela Sculptoris", Caelum, in the lower right of this 1825 star chart from Urania's Mirror, including Canis Major, Lepus, and Columba. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Coma Berenices[edit]

This card shows Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Corona Australis[edit]

Sagittarius and Corona Australis, Microscopium, and Telescopium are on plate 24. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Corona Borealis[edit]

Hercules, Cerberus, and Corona Borealis are on plate 11. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Corvus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Corvus and Corvus
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Craters[edit]

"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Crux[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Crux and Crux

Custos Messium[edit]

Camelopardalis, Tarandus and Custos Messium are on plate 2. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Cygnus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Cygnus and Cygnus
Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser are on plate 14. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Delphinus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Delphinus and Delphinus
Delphinus, Sagitta, Aquila, and Antinous are depicted on plate 13. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Dong’ou[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Dong’ou and Dong’ou

"One Chinese constellation in this area, Dong’ou, is thought to have incorporated at least two stars of present-day Antlia, one of them being Iota Antliae; two or three other stars of Dong’ou were farther south in Vela. Dong’ou was named after a place in Zhejiang province, on the southeastern coast of China, where barbarians were said to live."[58]

Dorado[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Dorado and Dorado

Draco[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Draco and Draco
"Draco and Ursa Minor" are on plate 1 of Urania's Mirror. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Equuleus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Equuleus and Equuleus
Pegasus and Equuleus are on plate 15. Credit: Creator:Sidney Hall, Richard Rouse Bloxam (1765-1840), Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Eridanus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Eridanus and Eridanus
Psalterium Georgii, Fluvius Eridanus, Cetus, Officina Sculptoris, Fornax Chemica, and Machina Electrica are on plate 28. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Fluvius, the River [is a] name by which one of the constellations is called by some of the old writers; it is that which we characterise by the name of Eridanus."[87]

Felis[edit]

"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Felis was invented "in 1799 by the Frenchman Joseph Jérôme de Lalande (1732–1807) from stars between Antlia and Hydra."[88]

Fornax[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Fornax and Fornax
Psalterium Georgii, Fluvius Eridanus, Cetus, Officina Sculptoris, Fornax Chemica, and Machina Electrica are on plate 28. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Gemini[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Gemini and Gemini
The Twins Gemini are on plate 18. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Gemini are shown on plate 18 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Gloria Frederici[edit]

Andromeda as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c. 1825, showing the constellation from the inside of the celestial sphere. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Grus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Grus and Grus

Hercules[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Hercules and Hercules
Hercules, Cerberus, and Corona Borealis are on plate 11. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Horologium[edit]

Hut[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Hut and Hut

"An Arab constellation called "al-Hut" (the fish) was composed of several stars in Andromeda, M31, and several stars in Pisces. [Nu Andromedae] ν And, [Mu Andromedae] μ And, [Beta Andromedae] β And, [Eta Andromedae] η And, [Zeta Andromedae] ζ And, [Epsilon Andromedae] ε And, [Delta Andromedae] δ And, [Pi Andromedae] π And, and [32 Andromedae] 32 And were all included from Andromeda; [Nu Piscium] ν Psc, [Phi Piscium] φ Psc, [Chi Piscium] χ Psc, and [Psi Piscium] ψ Psc were included from Pisces."[57]

Hydra[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Hydra and Hydra
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Hydrus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Hydrus and Hydrus

Indus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Indus and Indus

Lacerta[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Lacerta and Lacerta
Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser are on plate 14. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Legs[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Legs and Legs

"In Chinese astronomy, the stars that make up Andromeda were members of four different constellations that had astrological and mythological significance [...] In traditional Chinese astronomy, nine stars from Andromeda (including Beta Andromedae, Mu Andromedae, and Nu Andromedae), along with seven stars from Pisces, formed an elliptical constellation called "Legs"".[57]

Leo[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Leo and Leo
Plate 20 includes Leo Major and Leo Minor. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Leo Minor[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Leo Minor and Leo Minor
Plate 20 includes Leo Major and Leo Minor. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Lepus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Lepus and Lepus
Seen is "Cela Sculptoris", Caelum, in the lower right of this 1825 star chart from Urania's Mirror, including Canis Major, Lepus, and Columba. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Libra[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Libra and Libra
Libra the scales is on plate 22. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Libra is displayed on plate 22.

Lupus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Lupus and Lupus
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Lynx[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Lynx and Lynx
Lynx and Telescopium Herschilii are on plate 8. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Lyra[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Lyra and Lyra
Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser are on plate 14. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Machina Electrica[edit]

Psalterium Georgii, Fluvius Eridanus, Cetus, Officina Sculptoris, Fornax Chemica, and Machina Electrica are on plate 28. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Mensa[edit]

Main sources: stronomy/Mensa and Mensa

Microscopium[edit]

Sagittarius and Corona Australis, Microscopium, and Telescopium are on plate 24. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Monoceros[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Monoceros and Monoceros
Monoceros, Canis Minor, and Atelier Typographique are shown on plate 31 in Urania's Mirror. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Mons Mænalus[edit]

This card shows Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

The image at the right is "Boötes as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. In his left hand he holds his hunting dogs, Canes Venatici. Below them is the constellation Coma Berenices. Above the head of Boötes is Quadrans Muralis, now obsolete, but which lives on as the name of the early January Quadrantid meteor shower. Mons Mænalus can be seen at his feet."[84]

Musca[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Musca and Musca
Aries and Musca Borealis as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

The constellation of Musca Borealis are included on plate 16 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Noctua[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Noctua and Noctua
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Norma[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Norma and Norma

Octans[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Octans and Octans

Ophiuchus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Ophiuchus and Ophiuchus
Taurus Poniatowski, Serpentarius, Scutum Sobieski, and Serpens are on plate 12. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Orion[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Orion and Orion
Orion is described on the plate with a killed lion. Credit: Sidney Hall, restorationist Adam Cuerden.
This is Orion from 1690. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.
This is a print of the copperplate engraving showing the constellation Orion. Credit: Johann Bayer.
Fol. 58v Orion and Lepus from between circa 830 and circa 840. Credit: Unknown.

The plate 29 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards accompanied by A familiar treatise on astronomy, on the left is by Sidney Hall of Orion with a killed lion from 1825.

The first image on the right is an "outside" view of Orion from 1690 by Johannes Hevelius from Prodromus Astronomia, volume III: Firmamentum Sobiescianum, sive Uranographia.

The second image on the left is a print of the copperplate engraving for Johann Bayer's Uranometria (1661) showing the constellation Orion with Betelgeuse in his left shoulder.

The version of Orion in the second image down on the right with Lepus originated between circa 830 and circa 840 and is from the Leiden University Library Website.

Pavo[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Pavo and Pavo

Pegasus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Pegasus and Pegasus
Pegasus and Equuleus are on plate 15. Credit: Creator:Sidney Hall, Richard Rouse Bloxam (1765-1840), Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Perseus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Perseus and Perseus
Perseus and Caput Medusae are on plate 6. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.
Image shows emission surrounding the Perseus Cluster (NGC 1275) from the 270-430 megahertz (MHz) radio map. Credit: Marie-Lou Gendron-Marsolais and Julie Hlavacek­ Larrondo, Universite de Montreal, Tracy Clarke, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).{{fairuse}}

"In 2011, an upgrade to the receivers on the [Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array] JVLA sacrificed the observatory's capability for operation at frequencies between 30 MHz and 300 MHz. However, in 2013 all 27 of the 25-meter antennas of the JVLA were outfitted with new receivers, providing the bandwidth necessary for these observations."[89]

"The Perseus cluster is one of the most massive objects in the known universe containing thousands of galaxies immersed in a vast cloud of multimillion-degree gas and harbors a mini-­halo. Mini-halo systems are thought to provide a window on the otherwise elusive turbulence driven by minor mergers between galaxy clusters and less massive systems."[89]

"Overall, the recently upgraded JVLA has enabled a breakthrough in radio astronomy by providing a radio telescope with unprecedented sensitivity, resolution, and imaging capabilities. The new JVLA images of the Perseus cluster demonstrate the unique and state-of-the-art capabilities that this telescope offers to the community."[90]

"The results demonstrate the sensitivity of the new low frequency JVLA receivers, as well as the necessity to obtain deeper, higher-fidelity radio images of mini­halos in clusters to trace complex structures and further understand their origin."[91]

Phoenix[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Phoenix and Phoenix

Pictor[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Pictor and Pictor

Pisces[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Pisces and Pisces
Pisces is plate 27. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Pisces is on plate 27 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Piscis Australis[edit]

A representation of Aquarius printed in 1825 as part of Urania's Mirror, (including a now-obsolete constellation, Ballon Aerostatique south of it). Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Piscis Austrinus[edit]

Psalterium Georgii[edit]

Psalterium Georgii, Fluvius Eridanus, Cetus, Officina Sculptoris, Fornax Chemica, and Machina Electrica are on plate 28. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Puppis[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Puppis and Puppis
The Argo Navis constellation is displayed from Uranographia. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.

Pyxis[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Pyxis and Pyxis
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Quadrans Muralis[edit]

This card shows Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Quadrans Muralis occupied what is now the northern part of Boötes, near the end of the Plough’s handle (or, alternatively, the tip of the Great Bear’s tail)."[92]

"The constellation was invented by the French astronomer Joseph Jérôme de Lalande (1732–1807) to commemorate the wall-mounted quadrant that he and his nephew Michel Lefrançois de Lalande (1766–1839) used for measuring star positions (‘muralis’ is Latin for ‘wall’)."[92]

It is depicted on the right in plate 10 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Rangifer[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Rangifer and Rangifer

Rangifer is a "faint constellation of the far north introduced in 1743 on a star chart published by the Frenchman Pierre-Charles Le Monnier (1715–1799) in his book La Théorie des Comètes."[86]

"It has also been known by the name Tarandus, from the reindeer’s scientific name, Rangifer tarandus."[86]

"Bode in his catalogue Allgemeine Beschreibung und Nachweisung der Gestirne of 1801 assigned it 46 stars of 5th to 7th magnitude plus one deep-sky object, the galaxy NGC 1184. Most of these are now within the borders of northern Cepheus."[86]

Reticulum[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Reticulum and Reticulum

Sagitta[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Sagitta and Sagitta
Delphinus, Sagitta, Aquila, and Antinous are depicted on plate 13. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Sagittarius[edit]

Sagittarius and Corona Australis, Microscopium, and Telescopium are on plate 24. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Sarvvis[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Sarvvis and Sarvvis

"The Sami people of northern Scandinavia also visualized a reindeer called Sarvvis among the stars, but theirs was much bigger, incorporating Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia and Cepheus."[86]

Scorpius[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Scorpius and Scorpius
Scorpio fills much of plate 23. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

The scorpion Scorpio is on plate 23 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Sculptor[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Sculptor and Sculptor
Psalterium Georgii, Fluvius Eridanus, Cetus, Officina Sculptoris, Fornax Chemica, and Machina Electrica are on plate 28. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Scutum[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Scutum and Scutum
The Scutum constellation is from Uranographia. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.
Taurus Poniatowski, Serpentarius, Scutum Sobieski, and Serpens are on plate 12. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Scutum, or Scutum Sobiesky, apparently the same asterism is included in Urania's Mirror under section Plate 12.

Serpens Caput[edit]

Taurus Poniatowski, Serpentarius, Scutum Sobieski, and Serpens are on plate 12. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Serpens Cauda[edit]

Taurus Poniatowski, Serpentarius, Scutum Sobieski, and Serpens are on plate 12. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Serpentarius[edit]

Taurus Poniatowski, Serpentarius, Scutum Sobieski, and Serpens are on plate 12. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Sextans[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Sextans and Sextans
"Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica", plate 32 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Hydra is the longest constellation stretching across the card. Corvus is the gray-black bird near the end of Hydra's tail on the left. Crater is the gold cup just to the right and above Corvus. Sextans is directly behind the head of Hydra. Centaurus is below Corvus to the left. Lupus is to the left of Centaurus. Antlia is below Hydra and to the right of Hydra's major curve. Pyxis the compass overlies the mast of Argo Navis. Puppis is the deck of Argo Navis.

Argo Navis, Noctua (the owl), and Felis the cat are obsolete constellations.

Tarandus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Tarandus and Tarandus
Camelopardalis, Tarandus and Custos Messium are on plate 2. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Taurus[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Taurus and Taurus
Only the front half of Taurus is included on plate 17. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.
Taurus is depicted in the astronomical treatise Book of Fixed Stars. Credit: Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi.
Taurus Poniatowski, Serpentarius, Scutum Sobieski, and Serpens are on plate 12. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Only the front half of Taurus is included on plate 17 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror on the right.

On the left Taurus is depicted in the astronomical treatise Book of Fixed Stars by the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, c. 964.

Telescopium[edit]

Sagittarius and Corona Australis, Microscopium, and Telescopium are on plate 24. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Sagittarius and Corona Australis, Microscopium, and Telescopium are on plate 24.

Telescopium Hershelii[edit]

Lynx and Telescopium Herschilii are on plate 8. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Lynx and Telescopium Herschilii are on plate 8.

Tianmiao[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Tianmiao and Tianmiao

Tianmiao is a celestial temple constellation in chinese mythology. "Several more stars in western Antlia, including Epsilon, Eta and Theta, were part of Tianmiao, the celestial temple, most of which lay in Pyxis."[58]

Triangulum[edit]

Andromeda as depicted in Urania's Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c. 1825, showing the constellation from the inside of the celestial sphere. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"In the Marshall Islands, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Triangulum, and Aries are incorporated into a constellation representing a porpoise. Andromeda's bright stars are mostly in the body of the porpoise; Cassiopeia represents its tail and Aries its head."[57]

Triangulum Australe[edit]

A print of the copperplate engraving for Johann Bayer's Uranometria (1661 edition) shows the 12 new southern constellations. Credit: Image(s) copyright History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries.{{free media}}
Prodromus Astronomia, volume III: Firmamentum Sobiescianum, sive Uranographia, table FFF: shows the constellations of the South Pole, 1690. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.{{free media}}

Triangulum Australe is one "of the 12 constellations introduced at the end of the 16th century by the Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, and the smallest of them according to modern boundaries."[93]

Triangulum Australe is just upper right of center in the image on the right from 1661.

In the image on the left, Triangulum Australe is just upper left of center from 1690.

Tucana[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Tucana and Tucana

Tucana is one "of the 12 southern constellations devised by the Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman at the end of the 16th century. It represents the South American bird with a huge bill."[94]

Taiwei[edit]

"In Chinese astronomy, northern Virgo was part of an area called Taiwei, a court or palace of the Emperor, where the Privy Council met in camera for administrative and legal discussions. This court is also known as the Supreme Palace Enclosure and it included parts of Coma Berenices and Leo. Taiwei was not in itself a constellation but an area of sky in which events or characters with a common theme were depicted. Being an enclosure it was bounded by walls on the east and west, each marked out by a chain of five stars. The left (eastern) wall started with Eta Virginis and continued northwards via Gamma (Porrima), Delta, and Epsilon Virginis (Vindemiatrix) to Alpha Comae Berenices. The other wall started at Beta Virginis (Zavijava) and ran into Leo, ending at Delta Leonis. Within Taiwei, in the area we would now consider the ‘bowl’ of Virgo, various faint stars were seen as representing groups of officials and dignitaries such as Sangong (three stars representing seats for three excellencies), Jiuqing (seats for nine ministers, although it consisted of only three stars) and Yezhe, a court usher, represented by a single star, probably 16 Virginis."[95]

"Spica and Zeta Virginis formed Jiao, the horn of the Blue Dragon cang long. Jiao, ‘horn’, was also the first of the 28 Chinese lunar mansions. Since the ecliptic passed between the two stars of Jiao the pair were seen as a gateway for the Sun, Moon, and planets (there are many such gateways in the Chinese sky). Confusingly, two stars to the south of Spica, 53 and 69 Virginis, were also described as a gate, Tianmen, even though they were aligned nearly parallel to the ecliptic and so the Sun could not pass between them."[95]

"At right angles to the line between Spica and Zeta Virginis, two other stars, identities uncertain but close to the ecliptic, formed Pingdao, a flat, straight road for the Sun, Moon and planets. To the right of these a single star, possibly Theta Virginis, was known as Jinxian, representing people of outstanding achievement being recommended for honours or awards. North of Zeta Virginis, two stars (probably Tau and either 78 or Sigma Virginis) were Tiantian, the heavenly fields, in which the Emperor instituted ploughing every spring before the year’s crops were sown."[95]

"The stars Lambda, Kappa, Iota, and Phi Virginis formed Kang, the neck of the Blue Dragon, and also the name given to the second lunar mansion. Kang was also visualized in another way more relevant to Chinese society, as a government department administering various home affairs. Near Kang was the similarly named Kangchi, representing a lake with sailing boats. According to Sun and Kistemaker, Kangchi originally consisted of 110, 109, and Mu Virginis, plus three other stars in Libra. Over time, though, it was moved north, first to six stars straddling the border between Virgo and Boötes and finally ending up as four faint stars in Boötes alone."[95]

Ursa Major[edit]

Ursa Major is on plate 9. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Ursa Major is on plate 9 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror.

Ursa Minor[edit]

"Draco and Ursa Minor" are on plate 1 of Urania's Mirror. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

Plate 1 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror depicts the constellation Ursa Minor.

Vela[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Vela and Vela
The Argo Navis constellation is displayed from Uranographia. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.

"Argo Navis was a large southern constellation representing the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts. It is the only one of Ptolemy's list of 48 constellations which is no longer officially recognised as a constellation, having been broken up into Carina (the keel of the ship), Puppis (the poop) and Vela (the sails)."[83]

Virgo[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Virgo and Virgo
Virgo is shown with wings on plate 21. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.
Virgo and Coma Berenices constellations are from the Mercator celestial globe. Credit: Gerard Mercator.

Virgo is the only constellation depicted on plate 21 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror on the right.

On the left are Virgo and Coma Berenices constellations from the Mercator celestial globe of 1551.

"Virgo is the second-largest constellation in the sky, exceeded only by the much fainter Hydra. The Greeks called the constellation Parthenos (Παρθένος), which is the name Ptolemy gave in the Almagest. She is usually identified as Dike, goddess of justice, who was daughter of Zeus and Themis; but she is also known as Astraeia, daughter of Astraeus (father of the stars) and Eos (goddess of the dawn). Virgo is depicted with wings, reminiscent of an angel, holding an ear of wheat in her left hand (the star Spica)."[95]

"Dike was supposed to have lived on Earth in the Golden Age of mankind, when Cronus ruled Olympus."[95]

When "Zeus overthrew his father Cronus on Olympus, the Silver Age began, inferior to the age that had just passed. In the Silver Age, Zeus shortened springtime and introduced the yearly cycle of seasons."[95]

"There are other goddesses who can claim identity with Virgo. One is Demeter, the corn goddess, who was daughter of Cronus and Rhea."[95]

"Hyginus [...] equates Virgo with Erigone, the daughter of Icarius, who hanged herself after the death of her father. In this story, Icarius became the constellation Boötes, which adjoins Virgo to the north, and Icarius’s dog Maera became the star Procyon".[95]

Volans[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Volans and Volans
Piscis Volans is shown leaping against the side of the ship Argo. Credit: Johann Bode.

Volans is one "of the 12 new constellations introduced at the end of the 16th century by the Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman."[96]

"The constellation was first depicted in 1598 on a globe by the Dutchman Petrus Plancius under the name Vliegendenvis. Bayer in 1603 called it Piscis Volans, the Latin title by which it became generally known until the mid 19th century. In 1844 the English astronomer John Herschel proposed shortening it to just Volans. Francis Baily adopted this suggestion in his British Association Catalogue of 1845, and it has been known as that ever since."[96]

Vulpecula[edit]

Main sources: Astronomy/Vulpecula and Vulpecula
Vulpecula, the fox, carries a goose, Anser. Credit: Johannes Hevelius.
Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser are on plate 14. Credit: Sidney Hall, Adam Cuerden restorationist.

"Johannes Hevelius created “Vulpecula cum Ansere” (the Little Fox with the Goose) [image on the right] out of unformed stars in the space between Cygnus and Aquila. The constellation first appeared in Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia (1687) and the accompanying introductory text, Prodromus astronomiae (1690). "[97]

"In atlases published before Hevelius, its stars are shown simply marking the flow of the Milky Way through the area."[97]

“Hevelius placed the fox near two other hunting animals, the eagle (the constellation Aquila) and the vulture (which was an alternative identification for Lyra). He explained that the fox was taking the goose to neighbouring Cerberus, another of his inventions.”[71]

"Richard Hinckley Allen (1899) put the total number of constituent stars identified by Hevelius at 27, while the German astronomers Friedrich Argelander (1843) and Eduard Heis (1872) recorded 37 and 62 stars, respectively, in their later catalogs."[97]

"Vulpecula, the fox, carries a goose, Anser, towards the multi-headed monster Cerberus in this illustration from the Firmamentum Sobiescianum star atlas of Johannes Hevelius published in 1690."[98]

"Hevelius drew his constellations in reverse, as they would be seen on a celestial globe, [from outside] so here the goose is to the left of the fox."[98]

The second image down on the right is plate 14 of Sidney Hall's Urania's Mirror. It depicts Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser.

Io[edit]

Main source: Io

"Io and Europa were seen for the first time as separate bodies during Galileo's observations of the Jupiter system the following day, January 8, 1610 (used as the discovery date for Io by the IAU).[99] The discovery of Io and the other Galilean satellites of Jupiter was published in Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius in March 1610.[100]"[101]

Sciences[edit]

Main source: Sciences
This is an image of the title page of Johannes Kepler's Rudolphine Tables (1627). Credit: Johannes Kepler.

The image at right shows the title page of Johannes Kepler's Rudolphine Tables dating from 1627. It is regarded as the most accurate and comprehensive star catalogue and planetary tables published up until that time. It contained the positions of over 1000 stars and directions for locating the planets within our solar system. Kepler finished the work in 1623 and dedicated it to his patron, the Emperor Rudolf II, but actually published it in 1627. The table's findings support Kepler's laws and the theory of a heliocentric astronomy.

Technology[edit]

Main source: Technology
This photograph is of an astrolabe quadrant from England of 1388. Credit: PHGCOM.

"Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures."[102]

Refracting telescope[edit]

This is a schematic of a Keplerian refracting telescope which uses two different sizes of planoconvex lenses. Credit: .
This woodcut illustration is of a 45 m focal length Keplerian air telescope built by Johannes Hevelius. From his book Machina coelestis (first part), published in 1673. Credit: .

The early telescopes as manufactured in the Netherlands are refracting. "The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century, using glass lenses."[49]

"The earliest recorded working telescopes were the refracting telescopes that appeared in the Netherlands in 1608. Their development is credited to three individuals: Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, who were spectacle makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of Alkmaar.[103] "The Hague discussed the patent applications first of Hans Lipperhey of Middelburg, and then of Jacob Metius of Alkmaar... another citizen of Middelburg, Sacharias Janssen had a telescope at about the same time but was at the Frankfurt Fair where he tried to sell it"."[49]

"The Keplerian Telescope, invented by Johannes Kepler in 1611, is an improvement on Galileo's design.[104] It uses a [plano]convex lens as the eyepiece instead of Galileo's [double] concave one. The advantage of this arrangement is [that] the rays of light emerging from the eyepiece are converging. This allows for a much wider field of view and greater eye relief but the image for the viewer is inverted. ... All refracting telescopes use the same principles. The combination of an objective lens 1 and some type of eyepiece 2 is used to gather more light than the human eye could collect on its own, focus it 5, and present the viewer with a brighter, clearer, and magnified virtual image 6."[105]

Clocks[edit]

Main source: Clocks
This is a sundial from Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan. Credit: Musee Guimet, World Imaging.
This image shows another sundial from Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan. Credit: Musee Guimet, World Imaging.

"[T]he earliest known sundial [is] from an Egyptian burial dated in the fifteenth century B.C. Sometimes called a shadow clock, or an L-board because of its shape [with] relatively crude performance."[106] A "[f]ragment of a late Egyptian sundial [from] about 3000 B.C." exists.[106]

Computers[edit]

Main source: Computers
Reproduction is of a Sumerian star map or “planisphere” recovered in the late 19th century from the 650 BCE underground library of Ashurbanipal. Credit: unknown, photograph whrusseth.
This image is of the large astrolabe made by Gualterus Arsenius in 1569. Credit: David Monniaux.

The image at upper right is of an astrolabe quadrant at the British Museum from England as of 1388.

"[T]he astrolabe was effectively an analog calculator capable of working out several different kinds of problems in spherical astronomy."[107]

Some form of an "astrolabe" may have been in use by the third millennium BC.[108]

The image on the right is a reproduction of a Sumerian star map or “planisphere” recovered in the late 19th century from the 650 BCE underground library of Ashurbanipal. It is also called an astrolabe.

Printing[edit]

Main sources: Information/Printing and Printing
This photograph of a printing press reminds us that writing descriptions down preserves knowledge for the future. Credit: MatthiasKabel.

"The invention of the printing press (an early example is shown at right) made it possible for scientists and politicians to communicate their ideas with ease, leading to the Age of Enlightenment; an example of technology as a cultural force."[102]

Hypotheses[edit]

Main source: Hypotheses
  1. Each of the various forms of the history of astronomy can all be included in astrohistory.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  2. Gordon W. Pearson and Florence Qua (1993). "High-Precision 14C Measurement of Irish Oaks to Show the Natural 14C Variations from AD 1840-5000 BC: A Correction". Radiocarbon 35 (1): -24. https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/18069/17799#page=110. Retrieved 2014-10-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  4. Toth, Nicholas; Schick, Kathy (2007). "21 Overview of Paleolithic Archaeology". In Henke, H.C. Winfried; Hardt, Thorolf; Tattersall, Ian. Handbook of Paleoanthropology. Volume 3. Berlin; Heidelberg; New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 1944. ISBN 978-3-540-32474-4 (Print); 978-3-540-33761-4 (Online). http://www.springerlink.com/content/u68378621542472j/. 
  5. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Ray Norris (January - March 2010). "Aboriginal astronomers: world's oldest?". Australian Geographic (97). http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/history-culture/2010/05/aboriginal-astronomers-worlds-oldest/. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  10. Bill Yidumduma Harney (January - March 2010). "Aboriginal astronomers: world's oldest?". Australian Geographic (97). http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/history-culture/2010/05/aboriginal-astronomers-worlds-oldest/. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Stephen Gilchrist (January - March 2010). "Aboriginal astronomers: world's oldest?". Australian Geographic (97). http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/history-culture/2010/05/aboriginal-astronomers-worlds-oldest/. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Bridget Brennan (28 May 2010). "Aboriginal astronomers: world's oldest?". Australian Geographic (97). http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/history-culture/2010/05/aboriginal-astronomers-worlds-oldest/. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  14. "Chinese writing '8,000 years old'". BBC News. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  15. "Carvings may rewrite history of Chinese characters". Xinhua online. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  16. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  17. Needham, Volume 3, p.171
  18. Needham, Volume 3, p.242
  19. 19.0 19.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  20. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  21. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  22. WordNet Search - 3.0, "History"
  23. see Jemdet Nasr period, Kish tablet; see also The Origin and Development of the Cuneiform System of Writing, Samuel Noah Kramer, Thirty Nine Firsts In Recorded History, pp 381-383
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Further reading[edit]

  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3505: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).

External links[edit]

{{Astronomy resources}}{{History of science resources}}{{Humanities resources}}