THE NIGHT SKY
This map illustrates the animals, people, and objects imagined in the sky by more than 30 different civilizations.
For thousands of years, humans have looked up at the stars in the night sky for navigation, divination, and storytelling. Before the invention of telescopes, ancient Egyptians used the bright star Sirius to predict the annual flooding of the Nile river. Ancient Polynesians navigated by the stars through the open ocean for hundreds of kilometers.
This map shows every star that might be visible to the human eye on the darkest night. It also shows the asterisms, or the pattern of stars in the sky, that were recorded by cultures and ancient texts around the world.
Author of the graphic: Eleanor Lutz