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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Bevis Atlas - Atlas Celeste

John Bevis' proposed
 'Uranographia Britannica'

An extremely rare atlas compiled by John Bevis in the eighteenth century, discovered at the Manchester Astronomical Society.

The Manchester Astronomical Society have discovered that a star atlas that has been in their library since before the Second World War is one of only thirty copies known to exist. This extremely rare atlas was compiled by John Bevis, an eighteenth century physician - turned astronomer, whose other claim to fame is as the discoverer of the Crab Nebula, the wreck of a star that became a supernova in the year 1054 and which is now regarded as a key object of interest with modern astronomers in the UK, particularly with radio astronomers at Jodrell Bank.

Bevis Atlas
Image © MAS

For more information see the links below:

The Manchester A.S. Atlas has featured in the following publications...

  • Cover Disk version featured on Sky at Night Magazine (March 2007).

  • An article by Nigel Hawkes "The unluckiest stargazer of all" in the Wednesday 24th Feb 1999 issue of The Times.

  • A Review (New Products, p67) in the December 1998 issue of Astronomy Now.

  • A four page article "The Ghost Book of Manchester" in the November 1998 issue of Sky & Telescope.

  • "The CD-ROM" featured in the Software Showcase of the September 1998 issue of Sky & Telescope.

  • A two page article " A Hidden Treasure " in the June 1998 issue of Astronomy Now.

The Bevis Atlas has also featured in the following publications...

  • Kevin J Kilburn, Godlee Observatory, UMIST, Jay M Pasachoff, Williams College -Hopkins Observatory and Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 'The Forgotten Star Atlas: John Bevis's Uranographia Britannica'. JHA, xxxiv (2003). 127-144.

  • William B Ashworth, Jr. University of Missouri, Kansas City. 'John Bevis and his Uranographia (ca. 1750)'. Proc. Am.Phil.Soc. Vol 125, 1, Feb, 1981. 52-73.

  • Kevin Kilburn. 'Tycho's Star: John Bevis describes Tycho's star seen in 1572 in his Uranographia Britannica'. Astronomy Now, July 2000.

  • Kevin J Kilburn. 'Tycho's Star and the supernovae of Uranographia Britannica'. Astronomy & Geophysics, April 2001, Vol 42, Issue 2.

  • There have also been a number of books published that have used selected charts from the Manchester A.S. Atlas.

A small example of the charts:

Plate 2Plate 5Plate 50

Images © MAS

A list of all the known Bevis Atlases:

Bevis Atlas

Image © Kevin Kilburn

Bevis CD-ROM

A very small number of copies of the Bevis Atlas CD-ROM are still available at £20.00 (post free to UK). To order a copy, in the first instance e-mail: Bevis Atlas to check availablity. You will be asked for more details and given payment instructions (payment is via PayPal).

Should demand be sufficient, we would endeavour to have more copies produced, although there may be some delay.