Celestial Globe

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2019.ast.273

Description:

This is a large, blue celestial globe standing on a circular base. The base is made of grey plastic, with a metal ring around the circumference of the round base. Rising from the centre of the base is central pillar that supports a semi-circular ring on the bottom half of the globe: this is broad and rounded on the outside edge.

Fitted into the inner edge of this is a metal ring (the meridian) that runs around the full circumference of the globe on the vertical. The interior meridian ring can be slid inside the semi-circular support ring so the globe can be fully rotated on this axis. The ring is broader on the exterior edge, and on the marked with a raised scale on both sides of the interior edge, graduated in degrees and labelled in tens. The top of the ring is labelled “COLATITUDE”.

Running around the equator of the globe is there is a broad wooden horizontal ring (the horizon band). This has a multi-coloured paper label stuck to its upper surface and divided into various concentric rings. The outermost ring is divided into even segments labelled with the months. Inside this there are rounded rectangles of even size labelled with the names of the zodiac constellations and images showing associated animals or symbols. Inside this there is a narrower ring labelled with the cardinal directions. Inside this, there are a pair of narrower rings segmented in tens of degrees. Of these two, the outer ring is labelled “AZIMUTH FROM NORTH POINT”, the inner “AZIMUTH”.

The globe is connected to the metal meridian ring at the north and south poles and can be rotated at these connection points. The globe’s background is a mid-blue over the entirety of its surface. The globe is covered with a black grid pattern printed in black ink. Stars and other celestial objects are depicted as dots or star shapes depending on their brightness; particularly bright objects are shown with a white circle around the exterior of the star shape. Some contellations are outlined with dotted lines, and areas of the sky are outlined in solid dark blue lines and labelled in blue writing. The equator, eclipic, and solstial and equinoctial colures are marked as broader black lines.

At the top of the the globe there is a circular metal piece curved to fit the globe’s surface and resting on it, a portion of which is inset from the rest. This is graduated into 24 portions and marked with the numbers 1 through 12 twice. One side is marked “A.M.” the other “P.M.”

Primary Materials: Plastic, Metal: Iron Alloy,

Markings:

On a cartouche printed on the surface of the globe: “CELESTIAL
16 INCH GLOBE
SYMBOLS OF APPARENT MAGNITUDE
1st 2nd 3rd OTHERS
DENOYER-GEPPERT CO.
Chicago 40, U.S.A.
Copyright 1956”

On a plastic label stuck to the base: “A7”

Written on a piece of masking tape stuck to the base: “A 7. 10”

Function:

This globe was likely designed to teach students about the features of the night sky, and to do basic astronomical calculations.

Condition:

Excellent: The base is in excellent condition, although surfacing on the metal ring around the edge of the base is cracked in a webbed pattern. The masking tape stuck to the base is yellowed and dirty and the edges coming away slightly from the base.

The globe surface is in very good condition, with a few dirt marks and very small scratches. The meridian ring is slightly scratched on its outer edge, as is the horizon band. The label stuck to the horizon band is in good condition, with a few patches of damage in the area where the meridian meets the horizon band on the month of June side; here, the plasticky surface of the label and label underneath is damaged.

Manufacturer: Denoyer-Geppert Co., Chicago

Date of Manufacture: After 1956

Provenance:

This globe was likely purchased for teaching by the Department of Physics or the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. In the 2000s, it was found in a room in the McLennan Physical Laboratories building on the U of T St George campus, and moved to the Astronomy Library for storage and display.