Colorful Vintage Planetary and Astronomical Posters

I have added an assortment of amazing astronomical posters to the vintage image collection on Picture Box Blue.

There are already some stunning collections of constellation map posters and zodiacal star charts on the site. With this collection of astronomy posters, I have gone further by covering the universe and planets.

Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences and was developed by the Greeks. The mathematical models to explain the apparent motion of the planets were developed in the 4th century BC by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Callippus of Cyzicus.

What is Astronomy

Astronomy literally means the science of the stars.  It is basically the study of everything in the universe outside the earth’s atmosphere. 

This natural science uses the scientific discipline of mathematics, physics, and chemistry to explain the origin and evolution of objects in the universe.  These include objects that we can see with the naked eye such as, stars, planets. 

It also includes further distant objects in the galaxy that can be seen through telescopes and other astronomical instruments. Such as other galaxies, comets, gamma-ray bursts supernova explosions, etc. 

The science of Astronomy also encompasses things in the universe we can’t see, like dark matter and dark energy. Cosmology is the branch of astronomy that studies the universe as a whole.

free-astronomical-posters

The Vintage Astronomical Posters

I have curated a collection of colorful and interesting astronomy-related posters from a variety of antique Astronomy books. All the books are in the Public Domain.

My boys all have a fascination with the universe and space. I will be printing and framing some of these images myself for their bedrooms.

To download the astronomical poster you want, click on the title above that picture. A high-resolution image will open in a new window in your browser. Click on that image with your mouse and you will have the option to save it to your hard drive.

1. Tobias Mayer Map of the Moon

A map of the moon from about 1770 by the German Astronomer, Tobais Mayer. Mayer was a famous for his maps and charts of the moon.

Astronomical poster 1770 map of the moon

2. Coronelli’s Idea of the Universe

1690 Astronomical Map of the Universe by the famous Italian map maker Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718).

At the center of this poster is a large celestial planisphere incorporating the rotations of the planets and signs of the zodiac, which is surrounded by 4 blowing wind heads and 5 planetary diagrams. The poster includes details about the zodiac, the theories of eclipses, and a cross-section of the Earth.

Coronelli's Idea of the Universe

3. Adam and Charles Black’s 1873 chart of the Solar System

Astronomical chart of the Solar System and the Theory of the Seasons by Adam and Charles Black. This is from the 1873 edition of Black’s General Atlas of the World.

The left-hand side of the chart shows the Solar System with extensive explanatory text. The right-hand side of the map offers a number of charts showing how the rotation of the earth around the sun affects the seasons. Also offers charts on the tides, eclipses, the phases of the moon, summer and winter, the atmosphere, and a mariners Compass.

Adam and Charles Black's 1873 chart of the Solar System

The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings

The next 11 stunning astronomical posters and prints are those by Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1827-1895).

Trouvelot was a French, artist, astronomy, and entomologist, he is best known for his exquisite astronomical illustrations. Trouvelot created over 7000 astronomical drawings in his lifetime. Through his drawings, he aimed to increase people’s understanding and engagement with astronomy.

The few examples here are from the book  The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings in 1882. 

Trouvelot was quoted in the introduction as saying “While my aim in this work has been to combine scrupulous fidelity and accuracy in the details, I have also endeavored to preserve the natural elegance and the delicate outlines peculiar to the objects depicted; but in this, only a little more than a suggestion is possible since no human skill can reproduce upon paper the majestic beauty and radiance of the celestial objects.”

4. Trouvelot Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern (Southern) Lights is a stunning natural light display that occurs in the night sky around the polar regions of the Earth.

Trouvelot_-_Aurora_Borealis

5. Trouvelot Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet, it’s massive at 318 times the size of Earth. But it has the shortest day of all the planets, as it is the fastest spinning. It is the fifth planet from the sun, it sits between Mars and Saturn.

Trouvelot Jupiter

6. Trouvelot The Planet Mars

Trouvelot’s planetary drawing of Mars. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet. Due to its appearance, it is often referred to as the Red Planet.

Trouvelot_-_The_planet_Mars

7. Trouvelot – The planet Saturn

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest. It is famous for it’s prominent rings.

Astronomical Poster of the planet Saturn

8. Total Eclipse of The Sun

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s disk.

Trouvelot_-_Total_eclipse_of_the_sun

9. The Great Comet of 1881

A long-period comet discovered by John Tebbutt on 22 May 1881 at Windsor, New South Wales. It is called a great comet because of its brightness at its last apparition.

The great comet of 1881

10. Solar Protuberances

Astronomical posters of solar protuberances. They are more commonly known these days as solar prominences. They are a large, bright, gaseous feature extending outward from the Sun’s surface, often in a loop shape.

Trouvelot_-_Solar_protuberances

11. The November Meteors

This next astronomical poster is of a Meteor shower. They are caused by streams of cosmic debris called entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds.

12. Mare Humorum

Mare Humorum is dark lunar plain formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.

Trouvelot_-_Mare_Humorum

13. The Great Nebula In Orion

An astronomical poster of the Great Orion Nebula, it is one of the most studied celestial features in the night sky. The nebula is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. It is visible to the naked eye and situated in the Milky Way, south of Orion’s Belt.

Trouvelot-_The_great_nebula_in_Orion

14. Partial Eclipse of the Moon

Trouvelot’s astronomical drawing of a partial eclipse of the Moon 1874.

Toruvelot's Astronomical posters of partial eclipse of the moon

15. German Astronomy Poster of Moon and Eclipses

1857 poster showing images of the moon and charts and illustrations of eclipses by the printer Georg Leonhart Bauerkeller. 

Astronomy poster of the moon and it's eclipses

16. Astronomy – Comparative Magnitude of the Planets

An astronomy poster from the Welcome collection of the earth and other planets.

Astronomy; a diagram of the earth and other planets

17. Relative Sizes of The Planets

Another planetary poster from the Welcome collection showing the relative sizes of the planets.

Astronomy: a diagram of the relative sizes of the planets.

18. Encke’s Comet 1848

An astronomical illustration of Encke’s Comet. It is a periodic comet, which orbits the Sun once every 3.3 years. Encke was first recorded by Pierre Méchain on 17 January 1786. But it was named after John Franz Encke who first computed its orbit in 1819.

Astronomical poster of Encke's comet

19. The Moon 9th Day

This image of the moon is from the Robert Ball’s 1892 “An Atlas of Astronomy“. 

The moon 9th day

20. Astronomical Poster of the Solar System

This wonderful astronomy diagram explaining the solar system is from the “Cram Unrivaled Family Atlas of the World” 1883.

vintage poster of the solar system

21. Doppelmayr Planetary Chart

A vintage illustration of the planets by the famous German astronomer, Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr (1742).

A vintage illustration of the planets by the famous German astronomer, Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr (1742).

22. Homann Heirs Astronomical Chart

The German publisher Homann Heirs 1753 solar system astronomical chart. The poster Features 23 diagrams including spheres, earth, and celestial globes, planetary systems, temperature zones, and projection systems. There is a general emphasis on the astronomical work of Copernicus and Tycho Brahe.

Solar system Astronomical Poster.

23. Yaggy’s Planetary System 1887

Levi Yaggy made an amazing collection of educational geography posters for schools. He also created a collection of astronomy posters that were designed to be backlit.

Yaggy backlit planetary system

24. Yaggy’s Eclipse of The Sun

Another one of Levi Yaggy’s educational astronomical charts.

Yaggy's eclipse of the sun and moon

25. Yaggy The Change of Seasons

Yaggy change of seasons

I hope you enjoyed these vintage astronomical posters. I will update this collection as and when I come across more wonderful astronomy images, so don’t forget to bookmark the page with a pin and return.

6 thoughts on “Colorful Vintage Planetary and Astronomical Posters

    1. Thank you, Cecilia. Vintage images are a passion of mine, I spent far too much of my childhood with my nose buried in an illustrated encyclopedia.

  1. Very Cool! I love the vintage Zodiac poster! I’m visiting from the Creatively Crafty link party <3 Keep up the good work, you have a lovely blog <3

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