Flamsteed’s Virgo

Description
Appointed in 1675 to the newly created post of Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed (1646-1719) compiled the first telescopic catalog of the positions and magnitudes of stars visible from Greenwich. He also prepared a set of celestial charts that, in his words, were to be “the glory of the work, and, next the catalogue, the usefullest part of it.” In 1729 these charts were published in the Atlas Coelestis by the late Reverend Mr. John Flamsteed Regius Professor of Astronomy at Greenwich.
This chart is from that work. It extends from 65° to 115° North Polar Distance and from 11h to 15h Right Ascension. It is drawn on a Sanson-Flamsteed sinusoidal projection. It shows the stars of magnitudes 1 to 7, with the brighter ones identified by Bayer letters.
Working from Flamsteed’s catalog and manuscript maps, Abraham Sharp drew the coordinates and positioned the stars. James Thornhill (and other artists whose names are not known) drew the constellation figures. And various engravers in London and Amsterdam prepared the copper plates from which the prints could be made.
Ref: Deborah Warner, The Sky Explored. Celestial Cartography 1500-1800 (New York, 1979), pp. 80-82.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
print
date made
1729
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 21 in x 27 in; 53.34 cm x 68.58 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England
ID Number
PH*329964
catalog number
329964
accession number
286289
subject
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Science & Mathematics
Astronomy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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