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Map of the southern celestial pole, 1603.

Map of the southern celestial pole, 1603.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm


Illustration taken from 'Uranometria' (1603) by Johann Bayer, showing a map of the southern celestial pole. 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 Tycho Brahe.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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