Catalan Atlas, 14th century
Catalan Atlas, 14th century. The 6-page Catalan Atlas (1375) was produced on vellum by the Jewish cartographer Abraham Cresques. It was commissioned by the rulers of the Kingdom of Aragon (north-eastern Spain). Two pages are on cosmography, and four on geography. This page shows the five known planets (plus the Moon and Sun) orbiting the Earth, the zodiac, moon phases, calendars, and the four seasons. The text is in Catalan. This version is a facsimile (exact reproduction) produced in 1959 by the Spanish scholars Joan Vernet and David Romano. The facsimile pages have been illuminated by hand in colour and gold leaf.
© LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Europe at night, satellite image
Europe at night. Satellite image of city lights at night, centred on Europe. North is at top, with the uninhabited dark of the Arctic at upper left. Bright areas mark dense urban populations, and the European coastline is clearly seen. Dense groups of cities are seen in England, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, and northern Italy. Paris and Madrid are also easily identified. Moscow is at centre right. Cairo and the Nile are at lower right, along with Israel. Oil rig lights are seen in the North Sea. Other lights include Iceland (upper left) and western Siberia (upper right). Desert areas, oceans, and inland seas are dark. For this area in the day, see E070/560.
© M-sat Ltd/Science Photo Library
Feast from Book of Esther, 1430 artwork
Feast from Book of Esther. Illuminated manuscript miniature from the 15th-century Alba Bible, depicting the feast given by Queen Vashti and King Ahasuerus of Persia (The Book of Esther). Vashti was banished and a Jewish girl Esther succeeded her as Queen of Persia. The Alba Bible, completed in 1430, is a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Medieval Castilian. It was commissioned in 1422. The 513 pages are illustrated with 334 miniatures, produced by members of the Franciscan Order in Toledo. The original is displayed in Madrid, Spain. 500 facsimile editions were produced in 1992.
© PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY