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Astronomy

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Plate 30. The Moon–6th Day, in An Atlas of Astronomy. A Series of Seventy-two Plates with Introduction and Index. Robert Stawell Ball. London: 1892
Ball’s Atlas uses the latest printing advances to show the Moon and the planets in great detail. It reflects the state of late 19th-century knowledge of the solar system.
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Revolution annuelle de la terre autour du soleil, in Atlas classique et universel de geographie ancienne et moderne... J. Andriveau-­Goujon; H. Nicollet; E. Soulier. Paris: 1850
This chart illustrates the movement of the earth around the sun during each month of the year. Two additional diagrams appear on either side of the title: the one on the left explains Kepler's theory of elliptical orbits; the one on the right shows the movement of the sun during the day. These phenomena are further explained in the French text.

Mapping the heavens has been a focus of cartography for as long as mapping the earth has been. Celestial maps range from system maps of the entire Universe and the constellations of stars to maps of planets and moons. The atlas map shown in this case, the 1850 “Revolution annuelle de la terre autour du soleil,” is a system map, beautifully portraying the relationship of the earth to the sun during the months and seasons of the year. (It is also the theme map of the exhibition.) The map and image “Moon – 6th Day” is one of 11 maps in Ball’s 1892 Atlas of Astronomy that show the moon progressing from new to full, using outline drawings and photograph-like images to depict its surface.