Astronomy

John Flamsteed (1646-1719) was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. He catalogued over 3000 stars and was responsible for several of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus.

In 1729, ten years after his death, a star atlas based on observations he made, the Atlas Coelestis, was published by his widow, assisted by Joseph Crosthwait and Abraham Sharp. The changes in the positions of stars (the original observations were made in the 1690s), led to an update made in the 1770s by the French engineer Nicolas Fortin, supervised by the astronomers Le Monnier and Messier from the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris. The new version, called Atlas Fortin-Flamsteed, was a third of the size of the original and also had artistic retouching to some illustrations (mostly Andromeda, Virgo and Aquarius). The names of the constellations are in French (not in Latin) and included some nebulae discovered after the death of Flamsteed. The images below are from an updated version published in 1795, titled Atlas Celeste de Flamsteed, produced by Mechain and Lalande, with new constellations and many more nebulae.

Map sizes: 23 x 18cm
Mounted sizes: 42 x 37cm

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