Johannes Hevelius

Johannes Hevelius (1611 – 1687) was a councillor and mayor of Danzig (Gdańsk), then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. As an astronomer he gained a reputation as "the founder of lunar topography" and described ten new constellations, seven of which are still recognized by astronomers.

Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia (dated 1687), an atlas of constellations, 56 sheets, corresponding to his catalog, contains seven new constellations delineated by him which are still in use (plus some now considered obsolete):
Canes Venatici, Lacerta, Leo Minor, Lynx, Scutum, Sextans, and Vulpecula.
Obsolete: Cerberus, Mons Maenalus, and Triangulum Minus.

 Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius

Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by the astronomer Johannes Hevelius, 1690


Prodromus Astronomiae

Prodromus Astronomiae is a star catalog created by Johannes Hevelius and published posthumously by his wife and research aid Elisabeth Hevelius in 1690. The catalog consists of the location of 1,564 stars listed by constellation. It consists of three separate parts: a preface (labeled Prodromus), a star catalog (named Catalogus Stellarum), and an atlas of constellations (named Firmamentum Sobiescianum, sive Uranographia).

Prodromus outlines the methodology and technology used in creating the star catalogue. It provides examples of the use of the sextant and quadrant by Johannes, in tandem with known positions of the sun, in calculating each stars' longitude and latitude.

The written draft of the Catalogus Stellarum consists of 183 leaves, 145, alphabetized according to constellation, containing star positions.

Firmamentum Sobiescianum, while technically part of the Prodromus Astronomiae as a well, was likely published separately and in tighter circulation. Housing its own cover page and page-numbering system, the atlas consisted of two hemispheres and 54 double-page plates of 73 constellations. Both the northern and southern hemispheres were centered on an ecliptic pole, and most star locations were all based off Johannes' own observations. Those that were not, the southern polar stars, were based on a catalog and map published in 1679 by Edmond Halley.