Striking full color example of Bayer's celestial chart of Lupus (the Wolf) with Centaurus, with Contemporary manuscript annotations in an early hand.
Bayer's work was remarkable for its time. Each plate has a carefully engraved grid, so that star positions can be read off to fractions of a degree. These positions were taken from the catalog of Tycho Brahe. Brahe's catalog had circulated in manuscript in the 1590s but was not published until 1602.
Another important feature of the Bayer's atlas was the introduction of a new system of stellar nomenclature. Bayer assigned Greek letters to the brighter stars, generally in the order of magnitude, so that the bright star in the Bull's eye became alpha Tauri (and the brightest star in the Centaur became our familiar alpha Centauri). These letters were placed on the charts themselves and also in a table that accompanied each chart. Bayer's charts are rarely offered seperately on the market.