Newton's New and Improved Celestial Globe

This floor-standing celestial globe forms a pair with the terrestrial globe, GLB0089. It is made of papier mache, covered with plaster and two sets of twelve half-gores, which are copper-engraved and hand-coloured. The sphere is mounted in a graduated brass meridian ring, which is joined to the sphere at both poles with brass hour circles. The sphere and ring fit into a wooden tripod pedestal stand with carved and wheeled legs, which support the red-rimmed and paper-covered horizon ring. Between the legs are three cabriole stretchers with a central wheeled support for the meridian ring. A compass is supported by the three stretchers. An inscription indicates that the globe is based on Francis Wollaston’s catalogue of stars, recalculated for 1830 by W. Newton.

Co-ordinates on the sphere are provided by hour circles every 15 degrees and parallels every 10 degrees. The equator is graduated twice, for degrees and hours, and the ecliptic is graduated in degrees and provided with the symbols and numbers of the signs of the zodiac. There are labels for the poles, polar circles and tropics. There are two circles drawn at N 38.5 and S 38.5 that indicate the stars that can always or can never be seen from London. There is a magnitude table and the stars are marked by their Bayer notation and numbers from other star catalogues are included. The Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds are labelled, and there are labels for novae and variable stars. A total of 54 stars and four star groups are named.

Object Details

ID: GLB0090
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments; Charts and maps
Type: Floor globe
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Newton Son & Berry; Petrus Plancius, Petrus
Date made: 1838
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 1182 x 678 mm; Diameter of sphere: 20 in

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.