Antique Celestial Maps
July 13, 2006 6:40 PM   Subscribe

The U.S. Naval Observatory Library features high-res scans of images from antique books dealing with astronomy and navigation. Wallpapers, ahoy!
posted by Gator (18 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks Gator, these are really beautiful. They make great desktops with the color inverted in Gimp.
posted by belling at 6:59 PM on July 13, 2006

posted by marxchivist at 7:01 PM on July 13, 2006

I know it was done years ago, but I love the liberal use of cellophane tape on things like this.
posted by marxchivist at 7:03 PM on July 13, 2006

Very nice. Amazing how much careful work went into those engravings.

But don't forget the nice picture of Cheney's house.
posted by zennie at 7:09 PM on July 13, 2006

And many other photos in the photo collection.
posted by zennie at 7:16 PM on July 13, 2006

Transit of Venus Plates from 1882.

Great find, Gator - and I hope they're true to their word and keep updating that page!

belling - my word, aged paper's negative colour is a really cool 'night sky' blue
posted by porpoise at 7:20 PM on July 13, 2006

Great post. Thanks

Those interested in this atlas might also be interested in the Firmamentum Sobiescianum of Johann Hevelius^ of 1690. It's the earliest example of this kind of work (called uranographies), and it's also at USNO. some more examples of Hevelius can be found at Hubble.

Hevelius's drawings are also available in Stellarium, a modern planetarium program.

See also John Bode's Uranographia of 1801, the artwork of which has become the archetype for celestial drawing. Bode also did a version of the Flamsteed atlas which is the subject of one of the scans referenced in the fpp links.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:23 PM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

Oooh...check out the Curious Mathematical Forms.
posted by redsparkler at 7:28 PM on July 13, 2006

[holy crap this is good]
posted by Busithoth at 9:03 PM on July 13, 2006

wowzers. DownThemAll is serving its purpose tonight.
posted by tiamat at 9:33 PM on July 13, 2006

Woahoho this is good stuff!
posted by LeeJay at 9:42 PM on July 13, 2006

posted by squirrel at 10:09 PM on July 13, 2006


You've just provided the raw materials for my homebrew labels.

posted by spock at 8:37 AM on July 14, 2006

awesome. I have some scans like this on my flickr account here:

posted by atom128 at 4:50 PM on July 14, 2006

Wanna come up and see my etchings?
posted by HTuttle at 9:16 PM on July 14, 2006

Entirely cool. Thanks!
posted by Smedleyman at 10:32 PM on July 14, 2006

Anyone else having trouble connecting to
posted by Tzarius at 3:16 AM on July 15, 2006

You've just provided the raw materials for my homebrew labels.

That's a really awesome idea. (I thought I already said this, but apparently not.)

Also, thanks for the additional links, Pastabagel.
posted by Gator at 6:53 PM on July 19, 2006

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