Antique Constellation Print / Astronomical Chart
Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica
Hydra is the largest of the 88 modern constellations, measuring 1303 square degrees. It has a long history, having been included among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is commonly represented as a water snake.
Corvus is a small constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for raven or crow. It includes only 11 stars visible to the naked eye (brighter than magnitude 5.5). It was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, who only counted 7 stars, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.
Noctua (Latin for little owl) was a seldom mentioned constellation that was once placed between the end of the tail of Hydra, the sea-serpent and Libra. The origins of the constellation are unknown, but an image of it appears in the American astronomer Elijah Burritt's Atlas (1835), part of his Geography of the Heavens. Noctua seemed to replace the earlier constellations of Turdus Solitarius, the solitary thrush and John Flamsteed's Hermit Bird. All of these constellations are no longer recognized by astronomers.
Crater is a constellation. Its name is Latin for cup, and in Greek mythology it is identified with the cup of the god Apollo. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It is faint, with no star brighter than third magnitude.
Sextans Uraniæ: Sextans is a minor equatorial constellation which was introduced in 1687 by Johannes Hevelius. Its name is Latin for the astronomical sextant, an instrument that Hevelius made frequent use of in his observations.
Felis (Latin for cat) was a constellation created by Jérôme Lalande in 1799. He chose the name partially because, as a cat lover, he felt sorry that there was not yet a cat among the constellations (although there are two lions and a lynx). It was located between the constellations of Antlia and Hydra. This, now obsolete, constellation was first depicted in the Uranographia sive Astrorum Descriptio (1801) of Johann Elert Bode.
Lupus is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for wolf. Lupus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It lies between Centaurus and Scorpius. In ancient times, the constellation was considered an asterism within Centaurus, and was considered to have been an arbitrary animal, killed, or about to be killed, on behalf of, or for, Centaurus. It was not separated from Centaurus until Hipparchus of Bithynia named it Therion (meaning beast) in the 200's BCE. No particular animal was associated with it until the Latin translation of Ptolemy's work identified it with the wolf. The Greek constellation is probably based on the Babylonian figure known as the Mad Dog (UR.IDIM). This was a strange hybrid creature that combined the head and torso of a man with the legs and tail of a lion (the cuneiform sign 'UR' simply refers to a large carnivore; lions, wolves and dogs are all included). It is often found in association with the sun god and another mythical being called the Bison-man, which is supposedly related to the Greek constellation of Centaurus.
Centaurus is a bright constellation in the southern sky. One of the largest constellations in the sky, Centaurus was included among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.
Antlia Pneumatica: Antlia (from Ancient Greek ἀντλία) is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name means "pump" and it specifically represents an air pump. The stars comprising Antlia are faint, and the constellation was not created until the 18th century. Beginning at the north, Antlia is bordered by Hydra the sea snake, Pyxis the compass, Vela the sails, and Centaurus the centaur. Antlia was created by the French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, who created fourteen constellations for the southern sky to fill some faint regions. It was originally denominated Antlia pneumatica to commemorate the air pump invented by the French physicist Denis Papin. The International Astronomical Union subsequently adopted it as one of the 88 modern constellations. There is no mythology attached to Antlia as Lacaille discontinued the tradition of giving names from mythology to constellations and instead chose names mostly from scientific instruments.
Argo Navis (or simply Argo) was a large constellation in the southern sky that has since been divided into three constellations. It represented the Argo, the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts in Greek mythology. The abbreviation was "Arg" and the genitive was "Argus Navis". Argo Navis is the only one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy that is no longer officially recognised as a constellation. It was unwieldy due to its enormous size: were it still considered a single constellation, it would be the largest of all. In 1752, the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille subdivided it into Carina (the keel, or the hull, of the ship), Puppis (the poop deck), and Vela (the sails). When Argo Navis was split, its Bayer designations were also split. Carina has the α, β and ε, Vela has γ and δ, Puppis has ζ, and so on. The constellation Pyxis (the mariner's compass) occupies an area which in antiquity was considered part of Argo's mast (called Malus). However, Pyxis is not considered part of Argo Navis, and its Bayer designations are separate from those of Carina, Puppis and Vela.
Pyxis Nautica: Pyxis (Greek: box) is a small and faint constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for a mariner's compass (it should not be confused with Circinus, which represents a draftsman's compasses). Pyxis is completely visible from latitudes south of 53 degrees north, with its best evening-sky visibility in January through March. Pyxis was introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century; he called it Pyxis Nautica, but the name was shortened. The constellation is located close to those forming the old constellation of Argo Navis (the ship Argo), and in the 19th century astronomer John Herschel suggested renaming Pyxis to 'Malus, the mast', but the suggestion was not followed.
Hand-colored engraving on card created by Sidney Hall for Jehoshaphat Aspin's 1825 work, A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy. Original cards have holes where the stars are to let light shine through.
High Resolution image suitable for large or small copies. This is a reproduction and may have been digitally enhanced to repair flaws, major stains, etcetera.
The images are reproduced here from very high resolution digital files, so you can be confident that the quality will remain the best. All of the Fine Art, Vintage Reproductions, Classic Prints, and other Antique Images in our gallery have been carefully edited, cleaned up and placed on products to provide the best possible results. We may not have as many items for sale as some of the bulk stores, but please be assured that we pay attention to the details and design each product for maximum positive effect.
Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com. Visit their Blog
or their Gallery
to find thousands of other free images and maps from public domain sources.
Many Images are from Books and Maps for Sale at ZephyrusBooks.com