Flamsteed’s Southern Celestial Hemisphere

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 maps that, in his words, were to be “the glory of the work, and, next the catalogue, the usefullest part of it.” In 1729, these maps were published in the Atlas Coelestis by the late Reverend Mr. John Flamsteed Regius Professor of Astronomy at Greenwich by his friends Joseph Crosthwait and Abraham Sharp. This engraving was plate 27 in that work.
This planisphere extends from the south equatorial pole to the equator. It is drawn on a polar stereographic projection, and shows the stars of magnitudes 1 to 8, with the brightest ones identified by Bayer letters. It was drawn by Abraham Sharp, and differs in style and content from the individual constellation maps in the Atlas Coelestis. It has been hand-colored.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 19 1/2 in; 49.53 cm
overall: 28 in x 20 7/8 in; 71.12 cm x 53.0225 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Science & Mathematics
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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.