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Last Glance: Revisiting Ancient Astronomy

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Fall 2008 Vol. VII, No. 1

Last Glance: Revisiting Ancient Astronomy

Astrolabe, Physics Department Roof

This replica of the armillary astrolabe (Greek astro-star, labe-grasp) invented in 255 BC by Eratosthenes (276-194 BC), used to demonstrate the motion of stars around the earth and for astronomical measurements, was built by Professor Frans Bruin in the Physics Department's machine shop in the 1970s. Bruin's research in ancient astronomy led him to reconstruct many instruments that he used to study observational techniques before the advent of clocks and telescopes. This instrument was the precursor of the plane astrolabes used extensively by Medieval Islamic astronomers.

Last Glance online