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Urania’s Mirror (London 1825), a boxed set of 32 cards; with Jehoshaphat Aspin, A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy (London 1825), 2d ed.

Constellation figures, as in this boxed set of 32 constellation cards, make learning the constellations easy.  Each card illustrates one or a few constellations. Holes punched in the positions of bright stars allow one to hold any card up to a light and compare the star pattern with the constellation figure.  Urania, the Muse of Astronomy, appears on the cover of the box.  

The 66 constellations include several no longer recognized today.

This is the first edition; subsequent editions include stars outside the boundaries of the featured constellations. The creator of the cards remains a mystery.  In a companion book providing a simple introduction to the night sky, Jehoshaphat Aspin explains only that the constellation cards “were designed by a lady.”  The constellation figures are based upon the Celestial Atlas of Alexander Jamieson, published in 1822.

Galileo's World Exhibition Location

Source: History of Science Collections

Section: Stars

Section Number: 4

Object Number: 33

Subject Area(s): Astronomy, Women and Science, Education, Art

Time Period: 19th Century

Region(s): Europe, England

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Coma Berenices Learning Leaflet

Coma Berenices Learning Leaflet

Coma Berenices is the only one of the modern 88 official constellations named after a historical figure. It represents the hair of Berenice, Queen of Egypt (267 221 BCE), who reigned with Ptolemy III Euergetes. Learn more about this in this learning leaflet.