The sky atlas The greatest maps, myths and discoveries of the universe

Edward Brooke-Hitching

Book - 2020

"THE SKY ATLAS assembles some of the most beautiful maps and charts ever created to understand the skies above us. This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography-a glorious art often overlooked by modern map books-as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogues, antique instruments, and other curiosities. This is the sky as it has never been presented before: the realm of stars and planets, but also of gods, devils, weather wizards, flying sailors, ancient aliens, mythological animals, and rampaging spirits. Here are the crystal cosmos of the ancient Greeks; the medieval sea, sailed by ships above the clouds; Tibetan sky burials; secret messages hidden in starligh...t, and much more. With thrilling stories and gorgeous artwork, this remarkable atlas explores our fascination with the sky across time and cultures to form an extraordinary chronicle of cosmic imagination and discovery"-- Provided by publisher.

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Illustrated works
San Francisco : Chronicle Books 2020.
Main Author
Edward Brooke-Hitching (author)
Item Description
"Originally published in Great Britain in 2019 by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., a CBS company."--Colophon.
Physical Description
255 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps (chiefly color) ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references (page 248) and index.
  • Introduction
  • The ancient sky. Prehistoric stargazing ; The ancient Babylonians ; The sky-watchers of ancient China ; Ancient Egyptian astronomy ; The ancient Greeks ; The heavenly spheres ; The Ptolemaic cosmos ; The Jain universe
  • The medieval sky. The rise of Islamic astronomy ; Inventing the star-taker ; Islamic celestial works reach Europe ; European astronomy ; The new study of the sky ; The sea above the sky ; Capturing the cosmos: clockwork and the printing press ; Celestial phenomena: part one ; Mesoamerica
  • The scientific sky. The Copernican revolution ; Tycho Brahe ; Johannes Kepler ; Galileo Galilei The Cartesian universe ; Johannes Hevelius maps of the moon ; Newtonian physics ; Halley's comet
  • The modern sky. William and Caroline Herschel ; Coining the asteroid ; John Herschel and the great moon hoax ; Neptune identified ; The phantom planet: Vulcan ; Spectroscopy and the dawn of astrophysics ; Celestial phenomena: part two ; Percival Lowell spies life on Mars ; The search for Planet X and the discovery of Pluto ; Organizing the stars: 'Pickering's women' ; New visions of the universe: Einstein, Lemaître and Hubble ; Breakthroughs of the Twentieth Century, and beyond
  • Afterword.
Review by Booklist Review

This beautifully illustrated volume spans the history of astronomy and celestial cartography, beginning with prehistoric cave paintings and rolling forward to today's high-tech photographs of the cosmos. Brooke-Hitching does a superb job of making this complex, scientific, and technical subject accessible and exciting for readers both new to and enamored of astronomy. He takes deliberate care in explaining how the study of the sky has been a collaborative and global effort with many cultures contributing distinct discoveries over the ages; the book's layout makes clear the context for each culture's history and knowledge, emphasizing their interests in certain stars or celestial events. For example, in ancient Egypt, astronomers created detailed charts of the star Sirius because of its correlation with the flooding of the Nile. The art, astral maps, and photographs, many in lush, jewel-like colors, make this book shine. Readers will want to drink in every fine detail in this illumination of the fruitful union of art, history, and science.--Jennifer Rymont Copyright 2020 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.