UNCHARTED CONSTELLATIONS by John C. Barentine

uncharted_constellationsThis book compiles an array of interesting constellations that fell by the wayside before the International Astronomical Union established the modern canon of constellations, a decision that left out lesser known ones. Their history is nevertheless interesting, and at last author John Barentine is giving them their due. This book is a companion to The Lost Constellations, highlighting the more obscure configurations.

Extensively illustrated with figures drawn from classic works of celestial cartography which appeared during the period from the 17th to the 19th century, the 16 constellations found in this volume fall into one or more of three broad categories: asterisms, such as the Big Dipper in Ursa Major; single-sourced constellations introduced on surviving charts by a cartographer perhaps currying the favour of sponsors; and re-brands, new figures meant to displace existing constellations, often for an ideological reason. All of them reveal something unique about the development of humanity’s map of the sky.

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