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©1998 by Richard Nolle


WOW!König 's image of the constellation AquariusMAY 18, 1998 - Celestial Atlas 1826 is a charming look at images of the constellations created by Franz Niklaus König in the year - you guessed it - 1826. These are 'diaphanous' images, which is to say white line drawings presented as transparencies. You won't be able to see them at this website, unless you set your browser options for a black background. (Why the webmaster doesn't do this for you is beyond me!) One of the things I like about the König images in particular is that they show the human constellations in the classical manner - i.e., facing us. This is the way the ancients described them, but since the Johann Bayer Uranometria of 1603, many of those classical images have been reversed - i.e. the figures are depicted from behind. König got it right! For example, here's König's Aquarius (with a bit of Capricorn and Pisces thrown in for good measure) straight from the Celestial Atlas 1826 website. (Click on the image to go to the page whence it came.)

Celestial Atlas 1826 is, incidentally, a multilingual site. I have linked the English version, but there's one in German as well as one in French. There are even a couple of stellar slide shows, one that runs about 33 kb and shows a three-slide sequence, and one that runs around a quarter megabyte and shows a 26-slide sequence. As websites go, this one is far from sophisticated - but THOSE IMAGES, they're just too good to miss!!

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