The Medieval cosmos, 1489.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Woodcut showing the medieval view of the universe as a set of spheres set one inside another. On the outer edge are the constellations, with the fixed stars inside. The planets and the Sun each occupy a celestial sphere in the following order: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon. Here, each are represented by their symbols. The Earth is at the centre surrounded by clouds. Illustration from 'Compilatio...de astrorum scientia' (Compilation of knowledge of stars) by Leopoldus, Duke of Austria, published in Augsburg in 1489. The 'Compilatio' was a collection of Latin translations from Arabic astronomical works and is one of the earliest astronomical treatises in a common language.