Allen, Richard Hinckley (1838-1908)
American teacher, minister, and amateur astronomer. Allen wrote the influential work, Star Names. Their Lore and Meaning. This book was very important in its time but research over the past 100+ years has outdated it in many aspects. Readers are cautioned against using Star Names as their primary source for constellation history.
Download Allen - 351K
Bartsch, Jacob (1600-1633)
Silesian astronomer (Silesia was a region now belonging to Poland and the Czech Republic). He did not invent any new constellations. In October 2004 I did a brief search of constellation websites and found that Bartsch is variously credited with inventing Camelopardalis, Crux, Lynx, Monoceros, Musca, and Vulpecula. None of those claims are true!
Bayer, Johann (1572-1625)
German lawyer and astronomer. Frequently given erroneous credit for the invention of the 12 new southern constellations of Plancius and Keyser. Bayer's 1603 work however did popularize those constellations.
Burritt, Elijah, H. (1794-1838)
American astronomer. The beautiful drawings in his 1835 celestial atlas popularized the constellations in America. Click on 'Celestial Maps' for a look at his work.
Habrecht, Isaac (1589-1633)
German astronomer, mathematician, and physician. Infrequently given erroneous credit for some of Plancius' constellations. Sometimes he is also given credit for Reticulum although LaCaille's constellation was not related to Habrecht's.
Hevelius, Johannes (1611-1687)
German/Polish astronomer. He made accurate stellar coordinate observations without telescopes. Seven of his new modern constellations are recognized today.
Download Hevelius - 370K
Hondius, Jodocus (1563-1612)
Dutch globemaker who published Plancius' new southern constellations on a celestial globe in late 1597 or January 1598.
Keyser, Pieter Dirckszoon (?-1596)
Dutch navigator. Keyser was trained by Plancius to chart the southern stars. Probably mapped new southern stars from Madagascar and perhaps near the island of Sumatra. Plancius used Keyser's data to form 12 new southern constellations.
Download Keyser / Eerste Schipvaart - 210K
LaCaille, Nicolas Louis de (1713-1762)
French astronomer and surveyor. LaCaille invented 14 southern constellations. All are recognized today. He divided Argo Navis into Vela, Puppis, and Carina in his star catalog but they were first illustrated by de Vaugondy.
Download LaCaille - 159K
Plancius, Petrus (1552-1622)
Flemish/Dutch cartographer. Invented 10 constellations of which four are still recognized. With Keyser he added 12 new southern constellations to the sky in 1598.
Download Plancius - 201K
Serviss, Garrett P. (1851-1929)
American journalist and astronomy writer. Wrote popular astronomy books and science fiction.
Vaugondy, Didier Robert de (1723-1826)
French cartographer. On his 1764 planisphere de Vaugondy became the first to label Argo Navis with LaCaille's three divisions: Carina, Puppis, Vela.
Vopel, Caspar (1511-1561)
German mathematician, map and globe maker. He was the first known to illustrate Coma Berenices (1536).