Cover image for Celestial treasury : from the music of the spheres to the conquest of space
Celestial treasury : from the music of the spheres to the conquest of space
Lachièze-Rey, Marc.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Figures du ciel. English
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
ii, 207 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 37 cm
General Note:
"The Celestial Treasury exhibition in Paris (October 1998-January 1999) coincided with the opening of public reading rooms in the François-Mitterand building at the Bibliothèque nationale de France"--Pref.

Translation of: Figures du ciel.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB981 .L23413 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Throughout history, the mysterious dark skies above us have inspired our imaginations in countless ways, influencing our endeavours in science and philosophy, religion, literature and art. Celestial Treasury is a truly beautiful book showing the richness of astronomical theories and illustrations in Western civilization through the ages, exploring their evolution, and comparing ancient and modern throughout. From Greek verse, mediaeval manuscripts and Victorian poetry to spacecraft photographs and computer-generated star charts, the unprecedented wealth of these portrayals is quite breathtaking. How did philosophers and scientists try to explain the order which seems to govern celestial motion? How did geometers and artists measure and map the skies? How many different answers have been proposed for the most fundamental of all questions: When and how did our world come about? Who inhabits the Heavens - gods, angels or extraterrestrials? The answers to these questions can be found among these stunning pages.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Astrophysicists Lachieze-Rey (Cosmology: A First Course) and Luminet (Black Holes) take a more technical tack in this serious yet engaging and accessible coffee-table book, first published in France in 1998 to accompany a Biblioth?que nationale exhibition. With 380 color maps and charts from all ages and lands, computer graphics and Hubble Space Telescope photos, the two deftly trace astrophysical fact and myth as it changes over time. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

This attractive volume, suitable for the coffee table, is also a compendium of the ways in which humans have portrayed the night sky from ancient times up to today. The book starts with colorful illustrations of the arrangement of the solar system through the geocentric models of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and other early Greek astronomers, and into the heliocentric schemes shaped by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. Maps and globes representing the sky and astrolabes and other tools of the navigator are shown in detail. As one approaches the modern period, the emphasis shifts from locating stars by constellations to positions and coordinates similar to latitude and longitude on Earth. Finally, images from the Hubble space telescope are shown and discussed. A valuable source for anyone interested in images of the sky through the ages. All levels. A. R. Upgren Wesleyan University