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A constellation representing the river Jordan, introduced by the Dutchman Petrus Plancius on his celestial globe of 1612. Jordan had its source near the tail of the Great Bear in what is now the constellation of Canes Venatici. The German astronomer Jacob Bartsch said in his Usus Astronomicus of 1624 that this river had two sources, namely Jor and Dan, and that is how it was shown on some charts – although not, strangely, Bartsch’s own. From there it flowed between the Bear and Leo (an area now occupied by Leo Minor and Lynx) and ended near the head of the Bear next to Camelopardalis, another Plancius invention. Jordanus was not shown by Bode.



© Ian Ridpath. All rights reserved


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