Frontispiece of 'Uranometria', 1603.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Frontispiece taken from 'Uranometria' (1603) by Johann Bayer. German astronomer and lawyer Johann Bayer (1572-1625) invented the system for naming stars using letters from the Greek alphabet, a system still used today for the brighter stars - those visible to the human eye without the aid of a telescope. 'Uranometria' depicts the positions of nearly 1000 stars in addition to those identified by pioneering Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).