Science Art: Ursa Major, Sidney Hall

Click to embiggen vastly

This is the Great Bear, which has led our eyes to the North Star for centuries.

Sidney Hall was an engraver best remembered for maps and atlases of our world here. But it’s hard to get a sense of “here” without looking up from time to time. Ursa Major was part of Urania’s Mirror, a set of star-locator cards that Hall engraved in 1825. The cards have little holes punched where the stars are. Go out at night, line up the stars with the holes, and you know their names, their relative positions and how to find them in the real world.

Found on Wikimedia Commons, which also has the names of all the stars pictured.