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Astronomy

Astronomical Instruments

Astrolabe

An astrolabe is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers.

Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and vice versa, surveying, triangulation, and to cast horoscopes.

Antikythera mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analog computer designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes, as well as the cycles of Olympic Games.

Armillary sphere

An armillary sphere is a model of objects in the sky (in the celestial sphere), consisting of a spherical framework of rings, centered on Earth, that represent lines of celestial longitude and latitude and other astronomically important features such as the ecliptic.

Celestial globe

A smooth sphere whose principal purpose is to map the constellations.

Celestial sphere

The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere of arbitrarily large radius, concentric with a particular celestial body. All objects in the observer's sky can be thought of as projected upon the inside surface of the celestial sphere, as if it were the underside of a dome or a hemispherical screen.

The celestial sphere is a practical tool for spherical astronomy, allowing observers to plot positions of objects in the sky when their distances are unknown or unimportant.

Nebra sky disk

The Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter and a weight of 2.2 kg, with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols.

These are interpreted generally as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars. Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes.

The Nebra Sky Disc features the oldest concrete depiction of the cosmos worldwide.

In June 2013 the Nebra sky disk was included in the UNESCO's Memory of the World Register calling it "one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century.

Planisphere

A Planisphere is a star chart analog computing instrument in the form of two adjustable disks that rotate on a common pivot. It can be adjusted to display the visible stars for any time and date.

It is an instrument to assist in learning how to recognize stars and constellations.

Sundial

A sundial is a device that tells the time of day by the position of the Sun.