James Middleton

Celestial Atlas, London 1842



Questa pagina, dedicata al Celestial Atlas di James Middleton, è stata realizzata da

 Marc Hoffeld

 di Luxembourg

 che ringrazio per aver concesso il permesso di pubblicare le tavole dell'atlante di sua proprietà.



James Middleton published his celestial atlas in October 1842 in London. His plates show the 75 existing constellations visible in Great Britain at that period. The right ascension and declination of the stars are rectified for the year 1840. The atlas consists of 5 double pages. The right side shows the constellations in the traditional style in their correct orientation as seen from earth. The left side shows the same blank maps without the figures to aid observation. A companion to the atlas was also published during the same year.


A new edition of Middleton’s Celestial Atlas and Student’s Companion was published in 1846. The price was lower with a view to more extensive circulation and general introduction.


Some of the constellations shown by Middleton were short living, like the Telescope, the small cat south of Hydra, the Taurus Poniatowski or Antinous. The atlas is beautifully coloured.


 As Basil Brown quoted in his book ‘ Astronomical Atlases, maps and charts’ (1932) : “Favourable notices appeared in the leading periodicals of the day, and several of the chief astronomers expressed their approbation of these maps which were in duplicate, one set depicting the stars declineated with the hieroglyphic figures of constellations, the other, corresponding blank maps of stars only, white on black ground. Even today Middleton’s work is not common, and the number of copies on the market is not large, many of the school copies being ruined"





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