Whilst Kepler was studying the planets motion, his son-in-law Jacob Bartsch, astronomer, Wilhelm Schickard, the astronomer and professor of Oriental languages at Tübingen, and Julius Schiller (c. 1580 – 1627), a lawyer from Ausburg, together with others were planning the re-organization of the celestial system. In particular, Schiller substituted all the pagan constellations with christian subjects: zodiac became the “Cycle of Twelve Apostles”; boreal and austral emispheres were populated by characters and symbols from Old and New Testament, respectively; the Sun became Christ, and the Moon the Virgin Mary. Since the mythological tradition survived intact to present day, we can deduce that this reform did not have great success. The identification of the stars and the comparison of new observations with those of past scientists appeared unnecessarily complicated. Therefore, the astronomers of the time continued to prefer the mythological figures.
Schiller’s maps are distinguished by a good graduation of stellar magnitudes, three new stars, and several newly discovered nebulae. While some of these, seen through newly invented telescopes, have since proven to be ghosts, others proved true. The most interesting of these objects is the great nebula in Andromeda, now known as M31. This object, clearly visible to the naked eye, was not reported by Ptolemy, and it was apparently not noticed by any of the medieval or Renaissance astronomers whose work followed from his. Nor, surprisingly, was it noted by Tycho Brahe, even though he had observed a great many non-Ptolemaic stars …[from W. P. Watson, quoted in www.atlascoelestis.com].
The twelve gores for this celestial globe (250 mm diameter) were designed from two Schiller’s planispheres, edited after his death in coloured version by Andreas Cellarius in 1660, within his Harmonia Macrocosmica (pictures above from Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica, ed. by TASCHEN).