Printing method | Giclée
Size | Square - 300x300mm / 11.8x11.8in
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 which I've plotted within a map of the night sky. This visual focuses on the section of the sky that contains the Western constellation Scorpius and reveals how many other cultures have used the same stars to create their own shapes.
This visual highlights in particular the constellations that have used the red supergiant star Antares (appearing distinctly reddish when viewed with the naked eye), placing each in its own circle around the center with the culture's name above it and the (translated) name below.
This sky map also tries to convey the reality of our sky by coloring the stars according to how they actually appear to us and making the brighter stars bigger. Whereas the background colors reveal the streaks of the Milky Way (Scorpius lies very close to its center). I've also taken inspiration from historic sky maps, such as including the right ascension hour markings (and zodiac signs) and declination degrees around the edge of the main circle, and 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. Here you can also read more about each of the 28 different cultures whose constellations have been included in the background sky. 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.
Small note | The final three images are photos I took of the Orion version, but they give a good indication of the colors and paper texture expected for this visual.