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Category >>   Celestial Cartography -- History & Artistry
   Explore the rich beauty of celestial cartography through the millenia with these wonderful books.
Star Maps by Nick Kanas   Star Maps -- New Edition Available for Pre-Order
History, Artistry, and Cartography

by Nick Kanas
540 pages, 3rd Edition, June 2019
Level: All

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Description: Explore the beauty and awe of the heavens through the rich celestial prints and star atlases offered in this third edition book. The author traces the development of celestial cartography from ancient to modern times, describes the relationships between different star maps and atlases, and relates these notions to our changing ideas about humanity's place in the universe. Also covered in this book are more contemporary cosmological ideas, constellation representations, and cartographic advances.

The text is enriched with 226 images (141 in color) from actual, antiquarian celestial books and atlases, each one with an explanation of unique astronomical and cartographic features. This never-before-available hardcover edition includes two new chapters on pictorial style maps and celestial images in art, as well over 50 new images. Additionally, the color plates are now incorporated directly into the text, providing readers with a vibrant, immersive look into the history of star maps.

Amazon.com Customer Comment: (1st Ed.) Star Maps is perhaps the most comprehensive book on astronomical cartography to be published in the last 50 years. It is an inch-thick mass of well-illustrated information and is worth its weight in gold just for the mini-biographies of astronomers spanning three millenia and four continents. Its content belies its very modest price. Star Maps will likely become the standard reference on astronomical cartography for many years to come. more»

Star Maps by Nick Kanas   Star Maps
History, Artistry, and Cartography

by Nick Kanas
528 pages, 2nd Edition, June 2012
Level: All

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Description: From 1600 to 1800 a number of beautiful star atlases depicting the constellations according to ancient myths and tales were printed. In Europe, where the quality of celestial atlases was unmatched, classical Greek traditions prevailed and the constellations were given allegorical visual representations of heroes and heroines, real and imaginary animals, scientific instruments and artistic tools. These images were placed in celestial latitude and longitude coordinate systems that allowed the positions of the stars to be mapped in the sky and formed the backdrop for predictions of the location of the planets and other heavenly bodies throughout the year. These celestial atlases also contained diagrams of the solar system that reflected both contemporary and ancient cosmological systems, thus tracing the development of mans view of his place in the universe.

This book traces the history of celestial cartography and relates this history to the changing ideas of Man's place in the Universe and to advances in map-making. Over 200 photographs from actual antiquarian celestial atlases and prints, 76 of which are in color, enrich the text, and a legend accompanies each illustration to explain its astronomical and cartographic features. Also included in the book are discussions of non-European celestial maps and chapters on early American influences and celestial map-collecting.

Amazon.com Customer Comment: (1st Ed.) Star Maps is perhaps the most comprehensive book on astronomical cartography to be published in the last 50 years. It is an inch-thick mass of well-illustrated information and is worth its weight in gold just for the mini-biographies of astronomers spanning three millenia and four continents. Its content belies its very modest price. Star Maps will likely become the standard reference on astronomical cartography for many years to come. more»

Celestial Atlas -- A Journey in the Sky Through Maps by Elena Percivaldi   Celestial Atlas
A Journey in the Sky Through Maps

by Elena Percivaldi
208 pages, 1st Edition, January 2019
Level: All

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Description: Since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, the observation, study and representation of the night sky has been a challenge for humans, who have always found themselves both astonished at the sight of the vault of the sky illuminated by the stars, and eager to gain scientific knowledge and understanding of what they are observing.

This volume, with splendid illustrations of the most famous, rare and impressive star atlases ever realized from the 16th century to the 19th century, will lead you on a journey among the constellations and will introduce you to the progress made by the great astronomers of the past, the more or less fantastic interpretations of celestial phenomena, and the evolution of the knowledge of the universe gained by those who made the study of the cosmos the very purpose of their lives. You will discover how in many cases art and scientific knowledge merged in such an exceptional manner, resulting in star maps that are true masterpieces of human genius that even now, centuries after their creation, transmit the extraordinary meaning and message that lie at the basis of their conception.

Amazon.com Customer Comment: Beautiful Star Maps. I am an amateur astronomer and love antique star charts. This book is 205 pages worth of beautiful antique star maps. It is also a historical account of the origins of sky maps from 1540 to 1833. This book is great for astronomers, historians, and anyone who loves art. more»

Illustrating the Phaenomena by Elly Dekker   Illustrating the Phaenomena
Celestial Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

by Elly Dekker
480 pages | 170 b/w illustrations, 16pp color plates, 1st Ed., October 2012
Level: Advanced

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Description: The introduction of the moving sphere as a model for understanding the celestial phenomena caused a great breakthrough in scientific thinking about the structure of the world. It provided the momentum for making celestial globes and mapping the stars. Celestial globes were produced first by Greek astronomers, and soon became greatly appreciated in antiquity as decorative objects (3 antique globes). The design and construction of the globe varied greatly as it passed through the Arabic (10 scientific globes made before 1500) and Medieval European cultures (3 scientific globes made before 1500). It was the starting-point for the design of many maps in antiquity and later in the Middle Ages (33) serving to illustrate books such as Aratus's Phaenomena. In the early fifteenth century scientific celestial maps (5) were constructed in their own right, independent of globes.

In this book all extant celestial maps and globes made before 1500 are described and analysed in detail. This prestigious study will appeal to academic historians of science and astronomy, and art historians alike.

Reviewer's Comment: "Behold! An astonishingly thorough account of how observers from ancient Greece to fifteenth-century Vienna and Nuremberg envisioned the star patterns. It is hard to imagine that any celestial globe or manuscript from this period has escaped Elly Dekker's meticulous sleuthing and analysis. The result is this admirable and beautifully illustrated tour de force of scholarship." -- Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica   Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica
by Robert van Gent
240 pages, September 2006
Size: 32 x 53 cm (12.6 x 20.9 in.)
Level: All

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Description: This collection of celestial atlases by Dutch-German mathematician and cosmographer Andreas Cellarius (c. 1596-1665) brings back to life a masterpiece from the Golden Age of celestial cartography. First published in 1660 in Harmonia Macrocosmica, the complete 29 double-folio maps and dozens of unusual details reproduced here depict the world systems of Claudius Ptolemy, Nicolas Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe, the motions of the sun, the moon, and the planets, and the delineation of the constellations in various views. Cellarius's atlas, superbly embellished with richly decorated borders depicting cherubs, astronomers, and astronomical instruments, features some of the most spectacular illustration in the history of astronomy.

Amazon.com Customer Comment: The Harmonia Macrocosmia is a lavish oversized book of 17th century celstial maps that are reproduced with stunning clarity and brilliance. This volume should appeal easily to anyone with an interest in astronomy, art or fine books. more»

The Mapping of the Heavens by Peter Whitfield   The Mapping of the Heavens
by Peter Whitfield
134 pages, September 1995
Level: All

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Description: Throughout history people have sought ways in which to "map" the heavens, often in the form of very beautiful documents. In this highly illustrated book, the author reveals some of the ways in which the structure of the universe has been conceived, explained and depicted. With examples ranging from the Stone Age to the Space Age -- ancient observatories, the angelic visions of Dante, images from Copernican revolution, the rationalized heavens of Newton and Flamsteed, through to modern deep space technology -- the book offers a challenging exploration of the tension between rigorous scientific knowledge and the continuing search for cause, certainty and harmony in the universe.

Amazon.com Customer Comment: Beautiful Imagery. I stumbled on this book at my local library and after just a few short pages, I knew I had to get it to keep. The images are lovely and the text is quite informative. more»

Solar System Maps by Nick Kanas   Solar System Maps
From Antiquity to the Space Age

by Nick Kanas
364 pages, September 2013
Level: All

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Description: In recent years, there has been increased interest in our Solar System. This has been prompted by the launching of giant orbiting telescopes and space probes, the discovery of new planetary moons and heavenly bodies that orbit the Sun, and the demotion of Pluto as a planet. In one generation, our place in the heavens has been challenged, but this is not unusual. Throughout history, there have been a number of such world views. Initially, Earth was seen as the center of the universe and surrounded by orbiting planets and stars. Then the Sun became the center of the cosmos. Finally, there was no center, just a vast array of galaxies with individual stars, some with their own retinue of planets. This allowed our Solar System to be differentiated from deep-sky objects, but it didn't lose its mystery as more and more remarkable bodies were discovered within its boundaries.

This book tells the exciting story of how we have conceptualized and mapped our Solar System from antiquity to modern times. In addition to the complete text, this story is made more vivid by:

  • 162 Solar System and planetary maps, diagrams, and images (over a third in color);
  • direct quotes and figures from antiquarian, contemporary, and Space Age documents and photographs that allow the reader to track how humans have viewed the Solar System from original sources;
  • nine tables that compare the various world views, relative planetary positions, and components of the Solar System with each other.

  • Broad in scope and rich in imagery, this book will draw the reader into the story of our Solar System and how it has been mapped since the beginning of recorded time.

    Amazon.com Customer Comment: The book very effectively linked the history of astronomy and cosmology to the art of graphics and communication. A much appreciated work. more»

    Skymaps.com/store -- Recommended Books & Products for Skywatchers
    New BooksStar AtlasesGetting StartedObserving GuidesPlanispheresTelescope BooksKids BooksSky Myths
    History & ArtistryStar Map PrintsAstroPhotographyTelescopes & BinocularsDVDsSoftwareAstro Calendars 2019


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