middle - Michael Oates,
left - Anthony W Cross, right - Kevin J Kilburn


John Bevis' proposed 'Uranographia Britannica'

An extremely rare atlas compiled by John Bevis, in the eighteenth century,
discovered at the Manchester Astronomical Society.

The Manchester Astronomical Society have discovered that a star atlas that has been in their library since before the Second World War is one of only sixteen copies known to exist. This extremely rare atlas was compiled by John Bevis, an eighteenth century physician - turned astronomer, whose other claim to fame is as the discoverer of the Crab Nebula, the wreck of a star that became a supernova in the year 1054 and which is now regarded as a key object of interest with modern astronomers; in the UK particularly with radio astronomers at Jodrell Bank.

An up-to date list of all known Bevis Atlases, from the Journal for the History of Astronomy article by Kilburn, Pasachoff, and Gingerich, is available as a PDF file..

For more information see the links below.

More information about the atlas
NOTE: Version 2.0 of the CD-ROM version of the atlas is now available for sale
Granada Television Filmed at the Godlee Observatory: Wed 29th April 98
Press release - Friday, 27th March, 1998

The Manchester A.S. Atlas has featured in the following publications...

Cover Disk version featured on Sky at Night Magazine (March 2007).
An article by Nigel Hawkes "The unluckiest stargazer of all" in the Wednesday 24th Feb 1999 issue of The Times.
A Review (New Products, p67) in the December 1998 issue of Astronomy Now.
A four page article "The Ghost Book of Manchester" in the November 1998 issue of Sky & Telescope.
"The CD-ROM" featured in the Software Showcase of the September 1998 issue of Sky & Telescope.
A two page article "A Hidden Treasure" in the June 1998 issue of Astronomy Now.

The Bevis Atlas has also featured in the following publications...

Kevin J Kilburn, Godlee Observatory, UMIST, Jay M Pasachoff, Williams College -Hopkins Observatory and Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 'The Forgotten Star Atlas: John Bevis's Uranographia Britannica'. JHA, xxxiv (2003). 127-144.
William B Ashworth, Jr. University of Missouri, Kansas City. 'John Bevis and his Uranographia (ca. 1750)'. Proc. Am.Phil.Soc. Vol 125, 1, Feb, 1981. 52-73.
Kevin Kilburn. 'Tycho's Star: John Bevis describes Tycho's star seen in 1572 in his Uranographia Britannica'. Astronomy Now, July 2000.
Kevin J Kilburn. 'Tycho's Star and the supernovae of Uranographia Britannica'. Astronomy & Geophysics, April 2001, Vol 42, Issue 2.
There is now a Belorussian translation of this page available.

Just a few small examples of the charts.

For more information about the Bevis Atlas and other Celestial Atlases see the Linda Hall Library and the Celestial Atlas Exhibit

Home Page Maintained by Michael Oates
Page modified 17 February, 2007