Celestial globe, 1878.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Large celestial globe asembled in Paris, France by Charles Delagrave. The engraved star patterns are 19th-century copies of the original ones drawn by Deuvez and engraved by J P Nolin from the Paris Academy in 1693, based on the work of the Venetian mapmaker, Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718). The detail shown here is centred on the constellations of Leo. The celestial globe is a three-dimensional model of the heavens on which the stars are plotted on the outside of a sphere. Originating in the Ancient World, it was probably inspired by the discovery that the Earth was round. The globe could be used to teach and demonstrate various astronomical principles. Until recently most celestial globes were ornate with decorative figures obscuring the stars.