Saturday, 18. February 2006
The Mercator Celestial Globe

Andromeda ('The Chained Lady' or 'The Princess of Ethiopia'): From Greek myth that relates Andromeda to the nearby constellations of Perseus, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia.

Click all the pictures for a larger view

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Pisces ('The Fish'): In the Zodiac. Representing two fish, bound together by a twisted cord. In Greek lore, the fish are Aphrodite and Eros, her son, who transformed themselves into fish to avoid the monster, Typhon.

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Ursa Minor ('The Little Bear'): Also known as the Little Dipper, the North Star is the bright star at the end of the bear's tail (or the dipper's handle).

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Taurus ('The Bull'): Connected to several Greek myths, in one of which the bull was Zeus in disguise. Part of the Zodiac.

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Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) is best known for the first use, in 1569, of the map projection bearing his name. This was the first projection on which any given compass bearing could be plotted as a straight line, thereby greatly aiding navigation at sea. Mercator was a publisher of maps and atlases, but he is only known to have produced one pair of globes: a terrestrial globe in 1541 and a matching celestial globe in 1551. These globes were produced while Mercator was in Louvain where he had lived since entering the University of Louvain in 1530. Surviving examples of the Mercator globes are rare and the pair at the Harvard Map Collection are the only known matched pair in America.

The Mercator Celestial Globe
Category: Astrology & Astronomy |


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