Johannes Hevelius’s southern star chart (1690)


In his Firmamentum Sobiescianum atlas published in 1690, Johannes Hevelius followed Johann Bayer in putting the 12 new southern constellations of Keyser and de Houtman on a single chart, with the benefit of improved star positions from Edmond Halley’s southern star catalogue of 1679. Hevelius’s atlas showed the sky in mirror image, as on a celestial globe, so here the chart has been reversed for easier comparison with those of Bayer and Halley. 

Hevelius’s depictions of the new southern constellations are similar to those on Halley’s chart. The main differences from the original visualizations of Bayer are: Phoenix and Grus face away from each other, and Grus is seen from in front rather than behind; Indus is female, and cradles her arrows on her arm rather than holding them in her hand; the tail of Pavo is less luxuriant; Apus has a shorter body and longer neck; the snaking length of Hydrus is considerably altered, so that the foot of Tucana no longer rests upon it and the tail is shortened; Chamaeleon has turned so that its feet face away from Apus; and Dorado has become Xiphias, the swordfish. Hevelius included the Ptolemaic figure of Ara at the top for orientation.





  Back to Star Tales – Johann Bayer’s southern star chart


  Back to Star Tales – Edmond Halley’s southern star chart 


Hevelius’s southern star chart 1690