Celestial Globe

Photo of Celestial Globe

Long before there were planetariums or advanced technologies available for studying the sky, people devised ways of depicting the sun, moon, planets, and stars in relation to the Earth. There was a desire to learn about astronomical history and events; people wanted to figure out how Earth fit into the grand scheme of the universe. Globes helped to put objects into perspective, and served as scientific instruments, ornamental showpieces, and physical illustrations of the astronomy beliefs of the day.

Globes have been visual representations of the physical characteristics of Earth and Sky for thousands of years. Generally, there are three types of globes. Terrestrial globes detail geographical features of the Earth. There are also globes that illustrate the physical features of celestial bodies, such as the moon or Mars. Celestial globes, like the one pictured here, are spherical maps of the sky—models of the visible heavens.