A globe is a spherical model of Earth, of some other celestial body, or of the celestial sphere. Globes serve purposes similar to maps, but unlike maps, they do not distort the surface that they portray except to scale it down. A model globe of Earth is called a terrestrial globe. A model globe of the celestial sphere is called a celestial globe .
A globe shows details of its subject. A terrestrial globe shows landmasses and water bodies. It might show nations and major cities and the network of latitude and longitude lines. Some have raised relief to show mountains and other large landforms. A celestial globe shows notable stars, and may also show positions of other prominent astronomical objects. Typically, it will also divide the celestial sphere into constellations.
The word globe comes from the Latin word globus, meaning "sphere". Globes have a long history. The first known mention of a globe is from Strabo, describing the Globe of Crates from about 150 BC. The oldest surviving terrestrial globe is the Erdapfel, made by Martin Behaim in 1492. The oldest surviving celestial globe sits atop the Farnese Atlas, carved in the 2nd century Roman Empire.
Flat maps are created using a map projection that inevitably introduces an increasing amount of distortion the larger the area that the map shows. A globe is the only representation of the Earth that does not distort either the shape or the size of large features – land masses, bodies of water, etc.
The Earth's circumference is quite close to 40 million metres. Many globes are made with a circumference of one metre, so they are models of the Earth at a scale of 1:40 million. In imperial units, many globes are made with a diameter of one foot [ citation needed ] (about 30 cm), yielding a circumference of 3.14 feet (about 96 cm) and a scale of 1:42 million. Globes are also made in many other sizes.
Some globes have surface texture showing topography or bathymetry. In these, elevations and depressions are purposely exaggerated, as they otherwise would be hardly visible. For example, one manufacturer produces a three dimensional raised relief globe with a 64 cm (25 in) diameter (equivalent to a 200 cm circumference, or approximately a scale of 1:20 million) showing the highest mountains as over 2.5 cm (1 in) tall, which is about 57 times higher than the correct scale of Mount Everest.
Most modern globes are also imprinted with parallels and meridians, so that one can tell the approximate coordinates of a specific location. Globes may also show the boundaries of countries and their names.
Many terrestrial globes have one celestial feature marked on them: a diagram called the analemma, which shows the apparent motion of the Sun in the sky during a year.
Globes generally show north at the top, but many globes allow the axis to be swiveled so that southern portions can be viewed conveniently. This capability also permits exploring the Earth from different orientations to help counter the north-up bias caused by conventional map presentation.
Celestial globes show the apparent positions of the stars in the sky. They omit the Sun, Moon and planets because the positions of these bodies vary relative to those of the stars, but the ecliptic, along which the Sun moves, is indicated. In their most basic form celestial globes represent the stars as if the viewer were looking down upon the sky as a globe that surrounds the earth.
The sphericity of the Earth was established by Greek astronomy in the 3rd century BC, and the earliest terrestrial globe appeared from that period. The earliest known example is the one constructed by Crates of Mallus in Cilicia (now Çukurova in modern-day Turkey), in the mid-2nd century BC.
No terrestrial globes from Antiquity have survived. An example of a surviving celestial globe is part of a Hellenistic sculpture, called the Farnese Atlas, surviving in a 2nd-century AD Roman copy in the Naples Archaeological Museum, Italy.
Early terrestrial globes depicting the entirety of the Old World were constructed in the Islamic world.During the Middle Ages in Christian Europe, while there are writings alluding to the idea that the earth was spherical, no known attempts at making a globe took place before the fifteenth century. The earliest extant terrestrial globe was made in 1492 by Martin Behaim (1459–1537) with help from the painter Georg Glockendon. Behaim was a German mapmaker, navigator, and merchant. Working in Nuremberg, Germany, he called his globe the "Nürnberg Terrestrial Globe." It is now known as the Erdapfel. Before constructing the globe, Behaim had traveled extensively. He sojourned in Lisbon from 1480, developing commercial interests and mingling with explorers and scientists. He began to construct his globe after his return to Nürnberg in 1490.
China made many mapping advancements such as sophisticated land surveys and the invention of the magnetic compass. However, no record of terrestrial globes in China exists until a globe was introduced by the Persian astronomer, Jamal ad-Din, in 1276.
Another early globe, the Hunt–Lenox Globe, ca. 1510, is thought to be the source of the phrase Hic Sunt Dracones, or “Here be dragons”. A similar grapefruit-sized globe made from two halves of an ostrich egg was found in 2012 and is believed to date from 1504. It may be the oldest globe to show the New World. Stefaan Missine, who analyzed the globe for the Washington Map Society journal Portolan, said it was “part of an important European collection for decades.”After a year of research in which he consulted many experts, Missine concluded the Hunt–Lenox Globe was a copper cast of the egg globe.
A facsimile globe showing America was made by Martin Waldseemüller in 1507. Another "remarkably modern-looking" terrestrial globe of the Earth was constructed by Taqi al-Din at the Constantinople observatory of Taqi ad-Din during the 1570s.
The world's first seamless celestial globe was built by Mughal scientists under the patronage of Jahangir.
Globus IMP, electro-mechanical devices including five-inch globes have been used in Soviet and Russian spacecraft from 1961 to 2002 as navigation instruments. In 2001, the TMA version of the Soyuz spacecraft replaced this instrument with a digital map.
Traditionally, globes were manufactured by gluing a printed paper map onto a sphere, often made from wood.
The most common type has long, thin gores (strips) of paper that narrow to a point at the poles,small disks cover over the inevitable irregularities at these points. The more gores there are, the less stretching and crumpling is required to make the paper map fit the sphere. This method of globe making was illustrated in 1802 in an engraving in The English Encyclopedia by George Kearsley .
Modern globes are often made from thermoplastic. Flat, plastic disks are printed with a distorted map of one of the Earth's hemispheres. This is placed in a machine which molds the disk into a hemispherical shape. The hemisphere is united with its opposite counterpart to form a complete globe.
Usually a globe is mounted so that its rotation axis is 23.5° (0.41 rad) from vertical, which is the angle the Earth's rotation axis deviates from perpendicular to the plane of its orbit. This mounting makes it easy to visualize how seasons change.
In the 1800s small pocket globes (less than 3 inches) were status symbols for gentlemen and educational toys for rich children.
Sorted in decreasing sizes:
A sphere is a geometrical object that is a three-dimensional analogue to a two-dimensional circle. A sphere is the set of points that are all at the same distance r from a given point in three-dimensional space. That given point is the centre of the sphere, and r is the sphere's radius. The earliest known mentions of spheres appear in the work of the ancient Greek mathematicians.
In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an abstract sphere that has an arbitrarily large radius and is concentric to Earth. All objects in the sky can be conceived as being projected upon the inner surface of the celestial sphere, which may be centered on Earth or the observer. If centered on the observer, half of the sphere would resemble a hemispherical screen over the observing location.
In cartography, map projection is the term used to describe a broad set of transformations employed to represent the two-dimensional curved surface of a globe on a plane. In a map projection, coordinates, often expressed as latitude and longitude, of locations from the surface of the globe are transformed to coordinates on a plane. Projection is a necessary step in creating a two-dimensional map and is one of the essential elements of cartography.
An equatorial bulge is a difference between the equatorial and polar diameters of a planet, due to the centrifugal force exerted by the rotation about the body's axis. A rotating body tends to form an oblate spheroid rather than a sphere.
An armillary sphere is a model of objects in the sky, consisting of a spherical framework of rings, centered on Earth or the Sun, that represent lines of celestial longitude and latitude and other astronomically important features, such as the ecliptic. As such, it differs from a celestial globe, which is a smooth sphere whose principal purpose is to map the constellations. It was invented separately first in ancient China during the 4th century BC and ancient Greece during the 3rd century BC, with later uses in the Islamic world and Medieval Europe.
The history of geodesy deals with the historical development of measurements and representations of the Earth. The corresponding scientific discipline, geodesy (/dʒiːˈɒdɪsi/), began in pre-scientific antiquity and blossomed during the Age of Enlightenment.
Martin Behaim, also known as Martin von Behaim and by various forms of Martin of Bohemia, was a German textile merchant and cartographer. He served John II of Portugal as an adviser in matters of navigation and participated in a voyage to West Africa. He is now best known for his Erdapfel, the world's oldest surviving globe, which he produced for the Imperial City of Nuremberg in 1492.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli was an Italian Franciscan friar, cosmographer, cartographer, publisher, and encyclopedist known in particular for his atlases and globes. He spent most of his life in Venice.
The angular diameter, angular size, apparent diameter, or apparent size is an angular distance describing how large a sphere or circle appears from a given point of view. In the vision sciences, it is called the visual angle, and in optics, it is the angular aperture. The angular diameter can alternatively be thought of as the angular displacement through which an eye or camera must rotate to look from one side of an apparent circle to the opposite side. Humans can resolve with their naked eyes diameters of up to about 1 arcminute. This corresponds to 0.3 m at a 1 km distance, or to perceiving Venus as a disk under optimal conditions.
Explorer 11 was a NASA satellite that carried the first space-borne gamma-ray telescope. This marked the beginning of space gamma-ray astronomy. Launched on 27 April 1961 by a Juno II, the satellite returned data until 17 November 1961, when power supply problems ended the science mission. During the spacecraft's seven-month lifespan it detected twenty-two events from gamma-rays and approximately 22,000 events from cosmic radiation.
The Farnese Atlas is a 2nd-century AD Roman marble sculpture of Atlas holding up a celestial globe. Probably a copy of an earlier work of the Hellenistic period, it is the oldest extant statue of Atlas, a Titan of Greek mythology who is represented in earlier Greek vase painting, and the oldest known representation of the celestial spheres and the classical constellations. The sculpture is at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, in Italy.
The earliest known world maps date to classical antiquity, the oldest examples of the 6th to 5th centuries BCE still based on the flat Earth paradigm. World maps assuming a spherical Earth first appear in the Hellenistic period. The developments of Greek geography during this time, notably by Eratosthenes and Posidonius culminated in the Roman era, with Ptolemy's world map, which would remain authoritative throughout the Middle Ages.
The Johannes Schöner globes are a series of globes made by Johannes Schöner (1477–1547), the first being made in 1515. Schöner's globes are some of the oldest still in existence. Some of them are said by some authors to show parts of the world that were not yet known to Europeans, such as the Magellan Strait and the Antarctic.
The Erdapfel is a terrestrial globe produced by Martin Behaim from 1490–1492. The Erdapfel is the oldest surviving terrestrial globe. It is constructed of a laminated linen ball in two halves, reinforced with wood and overlaid with a map painted on gores by Georg Glockendon. The map was drawn on paper, which was pasted on a layer of parchment around the globe.
The Jagiellonian globe, also known as the Globus Jagellonicus, dates from 1510 and is attributed to Jean Coudray, a French clockmaker active in France. It is the oldest extant globe to use the name America. It resembles the 1504 Lenox Globe which is the third oldest extant known terrestrial globe, after the Erdapfel of Martin Behaim, made in Nuremberg in 1492 and the Ostrich Egg Globe, also dating from 1504.
The Globe of Gottorf is a 17th-century, large, walk-in globe of the Earth and the celestial sphere. It measures 3.1 meters in diameter. Conceived and constructed at Gottorf Castle near Schleswig, it was later transferred to the Kunstkamera museum in Saint Petersburg in Russia. Following a fire in 1747 most of the globe had to be reconstructed. A modern replica was constructed in 2005 at the original location near Schleswig.
Planetary cartography, or cartography of extraterrestrial objects (CEO), is the cartography of solid objects outside of the Earth. Planetary maps can show any spatially mapped characteristic for extraterrestrial surfaces.
The Globe Museum is a museum in the Palais Mollard, Vienna, Austria, part of the Austrian National Library. It was opened in 1956, and is the only public museum in the world devoted to globes, being three-dimensional models of Earth or other celestial bodies, or spherical representations of the celestial sphere.
Globus IMP instruments were spacecraft navigation instruments used in Soviet and Russian crewed spacecraft. The IMP acronym stems from the Russian expression Indicator of position in flight, but the instrument is informally referred to as the Globus. It displays the nadir of the spacecraft on a rotating terrestrial globe. It functions as an onboard, autonomous indicator of the spacecraft's location relative to Earth coordinates. An electro-mechanical device in the tradition of complex post-World War II clocks such as master clocks, the Globus IMP instrument incorporates hundreds of mechanical components common to horology. This instrument is a mechanical computer for navigation akin to the Norden bombsight. It mechanically computes complex functions and displays its output through mechanical displacements of the globe and other indicator components. It also modulates electric signals from other instruments.
The Ostrich Egg Globe is claimed to be the first known globe to depict the New World. It may have been the prototype for the Hunt–Lenox Globe, a red copper cast.