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Online picture link for constellations

 
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Geoffrey



Joined: 09 Jul 2012
Posts: 380
Location: Scottish Borders

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Online picture link for constellations Reply with quote

I am trying to identify the fixed stars as catalogued in Gadbury. He gives the lat and long of the star, but that was 360 years ago and the stars have scattered somewhat since then, let alone the effects of precession. He also gives a description in the context of the constellation figures and animals, such as "in the joint under the thigh" and it would be helpful if I had sight of the picture or star map that Gadbury was referring to.

Can anybody point me to an online picture of the constellation figures, with stars as well?

Thanks
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Geoffrey,

Anne Wrights website has pictures of all the constellations and you can locate individual stars by name, longitude, declination, right ascension etc.

http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Fixedstars.htm

Its worth pointing out that the constellations were often represented differently by artists before the agreement of fixed constellational boundaries by the Astronomical Union in 1930.

I would also highly recommend the book Star Maps-Artistry and Cartography by Nick Kanas which explores the historical development of star maps and constellational images.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Maps-Artistry-Cartography-Astronomy/dp/1461409160
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1209
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
I would also highly recommend the book Star Maps-Artistry and Cartography by Nick Kanas which explores the historical development of star maps and constellational images.

I discovered that book a while ago. It's an interesting, but heavy duty book with lots of text. The illustrations are intriguing and attractive, but they are too small to make out the locations of individual stars.

The best book for the location of individual stars in the constellational figures is Julius D.W. Staal's New Patterns in the Sky, available on Amazon and elsewhere. Staal includes various illustrations from different cultures for many of the constellations. It's a fascinating book, and very easy to read. Diane Rosenberg recommended this book to me several years ago. The book also includes mythology of the constellations.

But for the tropical longitudes of stars, Anne's Wright's site is best. She has done a wonderful job with her site. A long time ago I downloaded the 768 stars originally from Michael Erlewine, and adjusted them to fixed sidereal longitudes.
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
I discovered that book a while ago. It's an interesting, but heavy duty book with lots of text. The illustrations are intriguing and attractive, but they are too small to make out the locations of individual stars.


This is not the same edition Therese. The book has been significantly expanded in its new 2nd edition. The book is very valuable for anyone interested in the history of star maps and how the constellations were displayed. It will give some of idea of the kind of Star Map a 17th century astrologer like Gadbury might have been referencing.

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
The best book for the location of individual stars in the constellational figures is Julius D.W. Staal's New Patterns in the Sky, available on Amazon and elsewhere. Staal includes various illustrations from different cultures for many of the constellations. It's a fascinating book, and very easy to read. Diane Rosenberg recommended this book to me several years ago. The book also includes mythology of the constellations.


Well anything Diana Rosenburg recommended must be wortth reading. I do have the book too and it is good. However, if you want a perspective on the Greek myths associated with the constellations I recommend the following resources:

Star Tales by Ian Ridpath. An updated version of the book is now available online: http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/contents.htm

Another excellent book containing primary source texts is
Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans by Theony Condos

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781890482930?redirected=true&viewCountry=UK&selectCurrency=GBP&gclid=CJvI-Z-z774CFW3HtAodvn8AhQ

This site is also a very good source of information on the Greek star myths:
http://www.theoi.com/Cat_Astraioi.html

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1209
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
This is not the same edition Therese. The book has been significantly expanded in its new 2nd edition. The book is very valuable for anyone interested in the history of star maps and how the constellations were displayed. It will give some of idea of the kind of Star Map a 17th century astrologer like Gadbury might have been referencing.

You mean that my 2007 edition of the book (382 pages) is only the first edition? There are some beautiful illustrations, but I never took time to really read the book. There are only so many hours in the day, and I've been studying Ben Dykes' translations in recent years.

Quote:
Well anything Diana Rosenburg recommended must be worth reading.

Another book Diana recommended for pure inspiration is Giuseppe Sesti's The Glorious Constellations (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1991). This is an over sized book that would make anyone fall in love with the sky. 678 illustrations, 48 in full color. Wonderful older illustrations of the constellations, and some mythology I hadn't read anywhere else. So sad that the book is out of print, but copies are available now and then from Amazon sellers.

This is an example of a book authored by a non-professional in the field. It's doubtful that there will ever be another beautiful inspired book such as this one. The author's love of the sky and stars shines through on every page. The book is pricey, and a dear friend gifted it to me some years ago. Thanks, Diana, for telling us about this book!

Another interesting book to read if only because it's older and now reproduced only in photo-copying is William Tyler Olcott's Sar Lore of all the Ages (1911). (Kessinger, 450 pages) Many historical notes and a lot of mythology in that book. I just put it back on my reading table for review as it looked so interesting. It's amazing what authors could do before the age of computers and instant publishing! They had to take a lot more care in what they set down on paper as it couldn't be easily modified.

Quote:
Another excellent book containing primary source texts is
Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans by Theony Condos

I've got that one too. But the only book I've seen that has the individual stars accurately mapped in constellational drawings is Staal's New Patterns in the Sky. So the best book depends on what kind of information you want. The older illustrations in books and online have lots of pretty stars, but few labels.
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Geoffrey



Joined: 09 Jul 2012
Posts: 380
Location: Scottish Borders

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mark and Therese for your detailed comments on this matter. Much appreciated.
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1209
Location: California, USA

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy we could help, Geoffrey!

Looking through Olcott's Star Lore Of All Ages, I see that for many constellations he does have a picture of the mythological figure, and just above is the outline of the constellation with the stars labeled. I bought this book in 2003, and had forgotten about the illustrations. The Kessenger book I have is a nicely done facsimile, but I note on Amazon that there are several editions of the book, and I don't know the quality of those editions. My copy is oversize at 7.5 by 10.5 inches.

Olcott's book doesn't include all the southern hemisphere constellations, but Staal's New Patterns in the Sky includes all the 88 ancient and modern constellations. I really like Olcott's book. It has so much information from about 50 sources listed in a bibliography. Somehow this book has a special charm, perhaps due to its advanced age! Here is part of an Amazon review:

[The book]...is superbly written and mixes some unexpected genres. In the course of providing details of the scientific understanding of stars in various constellations, this book also unabashedly includes poetic reference and even astrology. While it won't provide the most current information about the starry dome above, it will provide excellent background information on the cultural legacy and portent of the original big screen show.
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