The Sky at Night (reprise)

iBook Exhibit Guide

Galileo's World at a Glance | Gallery at the Exhibit Website
Reprise (2016-2018) | Rotating Display calendar | Sky at Night (reprise)
What is the artistic and scientific heritage of the sky at night?

Galileo's Starry Messenger contains the first published observations of the heavens made with the telescope. When Galileo pointed the telescope to the stars and constellations, the background of night gave way before his eyes. Galileo’s telescope resolved an astonishing number of unexpected stars never seen before, as revealed in illustrations of the belt and sword of Orion the Hunter, and the Pleiades star cluster on the back of Taurus the Bull.

“Why did not somebody teach me the constellations, and make me at home in the starry heavens, which are always overhead, and which I don't know to this day?” Thomas Carlyle

From the Renaissance to the dawn of the modern age, art and science fused together in the representation of the stars and constellations. Star maps combined state-of-the-art scientific observation of the cosmos with appreciation for the aesthetic dimension of the sky.

The wonder of the sky at night is common to science, literature and art. Galileo inscribed the Oklahoma copy of the Starry Messenger to a poet. Art, music, literature and astronomy merge in humanity’s creative and ongoing exploration of the stars and constellations.

Books in this reprise gallery were originally displayed during 2015-2016 as part of Galileo’s World joint-exhibitions at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (FJJMA), the National Weather Center (NWC), and the Schusterman Library on the OU-Tulsa campus (OU-Tulsa).

Feature cases - Hexagonal

1. Galileo, Sidereus nuncius (Venice, 1610); "Starry Messenger." BL and FJJMA, Galileo and the Telescope
3. Giorgio Vasari, Lives of Seventy Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects; in Le opera (Florence, 1878-85), 9 vols. BL, Galileo and the Telescope
11. Lorenzo Sirigatti, La Pratica di Prospettiva (Venice, 1596); "The Practice of Perspective" FJJMA, Galileo and Perspective Drawing (Moved to the Rotating Gallery vertical case in the South Exhibit Hall.)

Feature cases - SE Exhibit Hall, center of room

8. Johann and Elisabeth Hevelius, Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia (Gdansk, 1690), "The Firmament of King Sobiesci, or Map of the Heavens" FJJMA, The Sky at Night
9. Johann and Elisabeth Hevelius, Prodromus Astronomiae (Gdansk, 1690), bound with the Uranographia, "Preliminary Discourse for Astronomy" FJJMA, The Sky at Night
10. Johann and Elisabeth Hevelius, Catalogus stellarum fixarum (Gdansk, 1687), bound with the Uranographia, "Catalog of Fixed Stars" FJJMA, The Sky at Night
13. John Flamsteed, Atlas coelestis (London, 1729), "Celestial Atlas" FJJMA, The Sky at Night
14. Johann Bode, Uranographia (Berlin, 1801), "Map of the Heavens" FJJMA, The Sky at Night  (Moved to the coffee-table case in the Gaylord Room).


Case 1:  Early Star Atlases
3. Ptolemy, Opera (Basel, 1541), "Works" FJJMA, The Sky at Night
5. Johann Bayer, Uranometria (Ulm, 1661), bound with Johann Bayer, Explicatio characterum (Ulm, 1697), "Measuring the Heavens" FJJMA, The Sky at Night
6. Johann Kepler, De stella nova in pede serpentarii (Prague, 1606), "On the New Star in the Foot of the Serpent Handler" FJJMA, The Sky at Night

Wall:  Celestial Globes
11. Vincenzo Coronelli, Celestial Globe Gores (Paris, 1693; reprint ca. 1800 using original plates), "Celestial Globe Gores" FJJMA, The Sky at Night

Case 2:  The Moon and the Telescope
4. Johann Hevelius, Map of the Moon; Selenographia (Gdansk, 1647) FJJMA, The Moon and the Telescope
7. James Nasmyth and James Carpenter, Der Mond (Leipzig, 1876); The World of the Moon," FJJMA, The Moon and the Telescope

Case 3:  Literature and the Night Sky
26. Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poems (London, 1843), 2 vols. NWC, Space Science after Galileo 
8.  Questar 3.5 inch Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope, BL, Galileo and the Telescope
30. Robert Frost, “The Star-Splitter,” New Hampshire (New York, 1923); NWC, Space Science after Galileo 

Case 4: Phases of the Moon and Venus
33. Tellurian, Trippensee Planetarium Company (Detroit, c. 1908-1920); BL, Music of the Spheres

Case 5:  Astronomy and Education
16. Catherine Whitwell, An Astronomical Catechism (London, 1818) FJJMA, The Sky at Night
35. Nicolas Lane, Pocket globe (London, 1809), BL, Music of the Spheres

Case 6:  Astronomy and Education
31. Urania’s Mirror (London 1825), a boxed set of 32 cards; with Jehoshaphat Aspin, A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy (London 1825), 2d ed.; NWC, Space Science after Galileo

Instrument tables:

20. Sundials: Pocket sundial, by David Beringer (Nuremberg, c. 1760); Polyhedral sundial, by David Beringer (Nuremberg, c. 1790); BL, Music of the Spheres
25. Complex Armillary Sphere replica (Brian Grieg); BL, Music of the Spheres
26. Astrolabe replica (Brian Grieg); BL, Music of the Spheres
32. Delamarche Orrery (Paris, 1847); BL, Music of the Spheres

Further reading:
  • William B. Ashworth, Jr., Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas, An Exhibition of Rare Books from the Collection of the Linda Hall Library, with supplement Further Out (printed catalogs; online exhibit)
  • Nick Kanas, Star Maps: History, Artistry and Cartography, 2d ed (Springer, 2012)
  • Chet Raymo, 365 Starry Nights (Simon & Schuster, 1990)
Curators: Kerry Magruder and Brent Purkaple. Links are to the Exhibit Guide, also available from the iBook Store. Open Educational Resources are available at and ShareOK.