Map of the world, 1660
17th century map of the world. Published in Amsterdam in 1660, this map by the Dutch cartographer Frederick de Witt (1630-1706) shows the expanding exploration of the known world. The map divides the Earth into a western and eastern hemisphere. In the upper corners are the constellations of the northern and southern celestial poles, with the geographical poles in the lower corners. Above and below the hemispheres are the Aristotlean elements of Air, Fire, Earth and Water. At upper centre is the Sun, with the Earth orbiting on an ecliptic ring of zodaical symbols. At lower centre, Ptolemy's geocentric cosmology (left) is contrasted with the heliocentric Copernican cosmology (right).
© Library Of Congress, Geography And Map Division/Science Photo Library
Planisphere with constellations, 1540
Planisphere with constellations. This planisphere is from the astronomical atlas Astronomicum Caesareum (1540) by the German printer Petrus Apianus (1495-1552). This atlas was notable for its highly intricate wheel charts (volvelles), of which this planisphere is an example. A volvelle involves several layers of paper placed over each other, which are then rotated to produce the desired result. In this case, to show the appearance of the night sky for a given latitude, time and date. The constellations are represented by artworks of the mythical people and creatures for whom they are named. This view is centred on the Northern Celestial Pole, but extends into the southern hemisphere as well.
© Royal Astronomical Society/Science Photo Library
Battle of Mobile Bay, Civil War, 1864
Farragut's flagship USS "Hartford" colliding with the ironclad CSS "Tennessee" to secure Mobile Bay, 1864.
Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration
© North Wind Picture Archives
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