Title: Ioannis Bayeri Rhainani I.C. Uranometria : omnium asterismorum continens schemata, no a methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa.
Author: Bayer, Johann, 1572-1625.
Author: Mair, Alexander, 1559-?
Imprint: Augustae Vindelicorum : Excudit Christophorus Mangus ..., 1603.
Description: 1 atlas ( p., 51 folded leaves of plates) : ill., 51 stellar maps ; 36 cm. (fol.)
Book location: QB41 .B293 1603 Rare Book Room
Johann Bayer was a lawyer and an amateur astronomer. His Uranometria, a star atlas and catalog, was the first of its kind. It represented a tremendous leap forward both esthetically and for its astronomical content, and became the standard for all later star atlases.
Bayer’s atlas included many innovations. Unlike previous astronomy texts, Uranometria portrayed the constellations as maps and not merely as pictures corresponding to mythology. Each plate has a carefully engraved grid so star positions can be determined precisely. He developed a star naming system that was adopted by later stellar cartographers. The stars are shown as they appeared from earth, a reversal from classical tradition where positioning was patterned from celestial globes and it included twelve southern constellations, newly discovered by 16th century voyagers.
This particular atlas has an interesting structure. There are 8 introductory pages and 51 folded leaves of plates. The plates were unfolded before binding, therefore some of the introductory pages are noticeably smaller than the main body of the work.
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 1, pages 530-531. Lost Stars, Morton Wagman, 2003. Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas. by William B. Ashworth.