Printing method | Giclée
Size | A3 (29.7x42cm / 11.69"x16.53")
Limited Edition | No
Paper | Hahnemühle German Etching 310 gsm
Through Stellarium, an amazing open-source planetarium, I was able to get constellation information for 28 different cultures. For this full map of the night sky I've chosen 12 of those cultures, from diverse locations (and time periods) around the world, and plotted all of their constellations across the sky. It reveals how each culture has seen their myths and legends reflected in the stars. Fascinatingly, certain shapes from the stars seem so easily recognizable that almost every culture has used them in a constellation, such as Ursa Major or Orion.
This sky map also tries to convey the reality of our sky by coloring the stars according to how they actually appear to us (using their temperatures), sizing the stars to make the brighter ones bigger and adding the Milky Way streaks in the background. I've also added inspiration from historic sky maps, such as the general layout of the two circles, the dashed stroke around the outside, with the right ascension hour markings and zodiac signs, and the addition of a (blue dashed) line that reveals the ecliptic (representing the imaginary path that the Sun follows over the course of a year).
I originally created the project "Figures in the Sky" for the "Myths & Legends" month of Data Sketches. You can find an interactive version of it here. At the end of that page you can also read more about each of the 12 cultures whose constellations have been included in this visual. If you're interested to read about its creation process, from idea, to data, sketching, and programming, you can read about it here.
Printed with archival ink on high-quality Hahnemühle German Etching fine art paper (310 gsm) by theprintspace. This heavyweight paper has a strong texture on which deep colors feel rich and high in contrast.