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Encyclopedia > Astrolabe
A 16th century astrolabe.
A 16th century astrolabe.

The astrolabe (Arabic: أسطرلاب Persian: استرلاب asterlab, ostorlab) is a historical astronomical instrument used by classical astronomers and astrologers. It was the chief navigational instrument until the compass in the 12th century, and the invention of the sextant in the 18th century. Its many uses included locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars; determining local time given local longitude and vice-versa; surveying; and triangulation. Astrologers of the European nations used astrolabes to construct horoscopes. In the Islamic world, they are and were used primarily for astronomical studies, though astrology was often involved there as well. 15th century astrolabe The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... 15th century astrolabe The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Astronomy, which etymologically means law of the stars, (from Greek: αστρονομία = άστρον + νόμος) is a science involving the observation and explanation of events occurring outside Earth and its atmosphere. ... Captain Nemo and Professor Aronnax contemplating measuring instruments in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea In physics and engineering, measurement is the activity of comparing physical quantities of real-world objects and events. ... A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant Astronomy is the science of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere (such as auroras and cosmic background radiation). ... An astrological chart (or horoscope) _ Y2K Chart — This particular chart is calculated for January 1, 2000 at 12:01:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time in New York City, New York, USA. (Longitude: 074W0023 - Latitude: 40N4251) Astrology (from Greek: αστρολ&#959... Table of geography, hydrography, and navigation, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... Compass in a wooden box A compass (or mariners compass) is a navigational instrument for finding directions on the earth. ... A sextant is a measuring instrument generally used to measure the angle of elevation of a celestial object above the horizon. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The Sun (Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Apparent magnitude: up to -12. ... A planet (from the Greek πλανήτης, planetes or wanderers) is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that produces very little or no energy through nuclear fusion. ... STARS can mean: Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society Special Tactics And Rescue Service, a fictional task force that appears in Capcoms Resident Evil video game franchise. ... Longitude, sometimes denoted by the Greek letter λ (lambda),[1][2] describes the location of a place on Earth east or west of a north-south line called the Prime Meridian. ... Triangulation can be used to find the distance from the shore to the ship. ... In astrology, a horoscope is a chart or diagram representing the positions of the planets and other celestial bodies at the time of any moment in time or any event, such as a persons birth. ...

Contents

History

Three Capetian French scholars consulting an astrolabe, ca. AD 1200
Three Capetian French scholars consulting an astrolabe, ca. AD 1200
A Persian (Iranian) astrolabe from 1208
A Persian (Iranian) astrolabe from 1208

Most historians credit the invention of the astrolabe to the ancient Greek mathematician Hipparchus (2nd century BC), and some to Hypatia of Alexandria. Others suggest ancient India as the origin of the astrolabe.[citation needed] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The House of Capet includes any of the direct descendants of Robert the Strong. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 405 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 711 pixel, file size: 83 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Astrolabium - copy from de:wikipedia. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 405 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 711 pixel, file size: 83 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Astrolabium - copy from de:wikipedia. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... January 31 - Inferior Swedish forces defeats the invading danes in Battle of Lena. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Leonhard Euler, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics. ... Hipparchus. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 2nd century BC started on January 1, 200 BC and ended on December 31, 101 BC. // Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ... An imagined portrait of Hypatia of Alexandria Hypatia of Alexandria (Greek: Υπατία;(born between 350 and 370 (*see section on this controversy below)–415 AD) was an ancient Greek philosopher, who taught in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and astrology. ...


Brass astrolabes (Persian: استرلاب asterlab, ostorlab) were developed in much of Persia (Iran), chiefly as an aid to navigation and as a way of finding the qibla, the direction of Mecca. The first person credited with building the astrolabe in the Islamic world is reportedly the 8th century Persian mathematician Fazari [1]. The mathematical background was established by Al-Battani in his treatise Kitab az-Zij (ca. AD 920), which was translated into Latin by Plato Tiburtinus (De Motu Stellarum). The earliest known example is dated AH 315 (AD 927/8). Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... Facing the Qibla at a prayer in Damascus The geometrical calculation of Qibla Qibla () is an Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... Abu abdallah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Fazari was a Persian philosopher and mathematician. ... Al Battani (c. ... Apparently, he translated information on the Astrolabe into Arabic for the first time. ... The Islamic calendar or Muslim calendar (also called Hijri calendar, Arabic التقويم الهجري) is the calendar used to date events in many predominantly Muslim countries, and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic holy days. ... Events Hubaekje sacks the Silla capital of Gyeongju and places King Gyeongsun on the throne. ...


In the Islamic world, astrolabes were used to find the times of sunrise and the rising of fixed stars, to help schedule morning prayers (salat). Al-Zarqall of Andalusia constructed one such instrument which, unlike its predecessors, did not depend on the latitude of the observer, and could be used anywhere. This instrument became known in Europe as the Saphaea. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Al-Zarqali (in full Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Yahya Al-Zarqali, rendered as Arzachel in Latin Europe; Azarquiel in Spanish and Italian), (1028–1087 CE), was a leading Arab mathematician and the foremost astronomer of his time. ... Motto: Andalucía por sí, para España y la humanidad (Andalusia by herself, for Spain, and for humankind) Capital Seville Official language(s) Spanish Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 2nd  87,268 km²  17. ...


The astrolabe was introduced to other parts of Europe via Islamic Spain in the 11th century. Early Christian recipients of Arab astronomy included Gerbert of Aurillac and Hermannus Contractus. Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Caliphate proper and the general period of Muslim rule (711–1492). ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... Gerbert of Aurillac, later known as pope Silvester II, (or Sylvester II), (ca. ... Hermannus Contractus (also called Hermannus Augiensis, Hermann of Reichenau) (1013 July 18 – 1054 September 24) was an 11th century scholar, composer, and music theorist. ...


The English author Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343–1400) compiled a treatise on the astrolabe for his son, mainly based on Messahalla. The same source was translated by the French astronomer and astrologer Pelerin de Prusse and others. The first printed book on the astrolabe was Composition and Use of Astrolabe by Cristannus de Prachaticz, also using Messahalla, but relatively original. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... A Treatise on the Astrolabe is a medieval essay on the astrolabe by Chaucer. ... For the Roman general, see Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus. ...


The first known European metal astrolabe was developed in the 15th century by Rabbi Abraham Zacuto in Lisbon. Metal astrolabes improved on the accuracy of their wooden precursors. In the 15th century, the French instrument-maker Jean Fusoris (ca. 1365–1436) also started selling astrolabes in his shop in Paris, along with portable sundials and other popular scientific gadgets of the day. (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Rabbi, in Judaism, means ‘teacher’, or more literally ‘great one’. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root word , rav, which in biblical Hebrew means ‘great’ or ‘distinguished (in knowledge)’. Sephardic and Yemenite Jews pronounce this word ribbÄ«; the modern Israeli pronunciation rabbÄ« is derived from a recent (18th... Abraham Zacuto (אברהם זכות) (portuguese: Abraão ben Samuel Zacuto) was a Spanish astronomer, mathematician and historian who served as Royal Astronomer in the 15th Century to King John II of Portugal. ... Location    - Country Portugal    - Region Lisboa  - Subregion Grande Lisboa  - District or A.R. Lisbon Mayor Carmona Rodrigues  - Party PSD Area 84. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Wall sundial-a vertical direct south dial Wall sundial in Warsaws Old Town- a vertical south west decliner dial A sundial is a device that measures time by the position of the Sun. ... An Apple iPod, a popular gadget A True Utility LockLite, a gadget invention to turn a key into a flashlight. ...


In the 16th century, Johannes Stöffler published Elucidatio fabricae ususque astrolabii, a manual of the construction and use of the astrolabe. Johannes Stöffler Johannes Stöffler (December 10, 1452 – February 16, 1531) was a German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, priest, maker of astronomical instruments and professor at the University of Tübingen. ...


Astrolabes and clocks

18th century Persian(Iranian) astrolabe.
18th century Persian(Iranian) astrolabe.

At first mechanical astronomical clocks were influenced by the astrolabe; in many ways they could be seen as clockwork astrolabes designed to produce a continual display of the current position of the sun, stars, and planets. For example, Richard of Wallingford's clock (c. 1330) consisted essentially of a star map rotating behind a fixed rete. Download high resolution version (1061x972, 333 KB)An 18th Century Persian astrolabe - maker unknown. ... Download high resolution version (1061x972, 333 KB)An 18th Century Persian astrolabe - maker unknown. ... The Persians of Iran (officially named Persia by West until 1935 while still referred to as Persia by some) are an Iranian people who speak Persian (locally named Fârsi by native speakers) and often refer to themselves as ethnic Iranians as well. ... Prague astronomical clock Astronomical clock in Lund Cathedral An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets. ... Richard of Wallingford (1292–1336) was an English mathematician active in the 14th century, who made major contributions to astronomy and horology whilst serving as the abbot of St Albans Abbey. ...


Many astronomical clocks, such as the famous clock at Prague, use an astrolabe-style display, adopting a stereographic projection (see below) of the ecliptic plane. The astronomical clock in the Old-Town Square of Prague The Prague Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj (Czech: Pražský orloj, pron. ...


In the late 1990s Swiss watchmaker Dr. Ludwig Oechslin designed and built an astrolabe wristwatch in conjunction with Ulysse Nardin. Ulysse Nardin was founded in 1846 in Le Locle, Switzerland. ...


Construction

An astrolabe consists of a hollow disk, called the mater (mother), which is deep enough to hold one or more flat plates called tympans, or climates. A tympan is made for a specific latitude and is engraved with a stereographic projection of circular lines of equal azimuth and altitude representing the portion of the celestial sphere which is above the local horizon. The rim of the mater is typically graduated into hours of time, or degrees of arc, or both. Above the mater and tympan, the rete, a framework bearing a projection of the ecliptic plane and several pointers indicating the positions of the brightest stars, is free to rotate. Some astrolabes have a narrow rule which rotates over the rete, and may be marked with a scale of declinations. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into List of Cars characters. ... Stereographic projection of a circle of radius R onto the x axis. ... Circle illustration This article is about the shape and mathematical concept of circle. ... Azimuth is the horizontal component of a direction (compass direction), measured around the horizon, usually from the north toward the east — i. ... Altitude is the elevation of an object from a known level or datum. ... The celestial sphere is divided by the celestial equator. ... The plane of the ecliptic is well seen in this picture from the 1994 lunar prospecting Clementine spacecraft. ... A pointer or pointing stick is a solid rod used to point manually, in the form of a stick, but always finished off or artificially produced. ... STAR is an acronym for: Organizations Society for Telescopy, Astronomy, and Radio, a non-profit New Jersey astronomy club. ... In astronomy, declination (abbrev. ...


The rete, representing the sky, has the function of a star chart. When it is rotated, the stars and the ecliptic move over the projection of the coordinates on the tympan. A complete rotation represents the passage of one day. The astrolabe is therefore a predecessor of the modern planisphere. A typical daytime sky. ... A star chart is a map of the night sky. ... The plane of the ecliptic is well seen in this picture from the 1994 lunar prospecting Clementine spacecraft. ... A planisphere consists of a circular star chart attached at the center of the starchart to an opaque overlay that has a clear roundish window (or cutout hole) that is free to rotate about the pivot point. ...


On the back of the mater there will often be engraved a number of scales which are useful in the astrolabe's various applications; these will vary from designer to designer, but might include curves for time conversions, a calendar for converting the day of the month to the sun's position on the ecliptic, trigonometric scales, and a graduation of 360 degrees around the back edge. Another ruler, called the alidade, is attached to the back face. When the astrolabe is held vertically, the alidade can be rotated and a star sighted along its length, so that the star's altitude in degrees can be read ("taken") from the graduated edge of the astrolabe; hence "astro" = star + "labe" = to take. A page from the Hindu calendar 1871-72. ... The Alhidade is the part of a theodolite that rotates around the vertical axis, and that bears the horizontal axis around which the telescope (or visor, in early telescope-less instruments) turns up or down. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Astrolabe

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... The Antikythera mechanism (main fragment). ... Armillary sphere An armillary sphere (variations known as a spherical astrolabe, armilla, or armil) is a model of the celestial sphere, invented by the ancient Greek Eratosthenes in 255 BC. Its name comes from the Latin armilla (circle, bracelet), since it has a skeleton made of graduated metal circles linking... An astrarium, also called a planetarium, is the mechanical representation of the cyclic nature of astronomical objects in one timepiece. ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut. ... Prague astronomical clock Astronomical clock in Lund Cathedral An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets. ... An Equatorium (plural Equatoria) was a medieval astrometic device used by astronomers. ... This is a sub-article of Islamic science and astronomy. ... A small orrery showing earth and the inner planets An orrery is a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the solar system in heliocentric model. ... // A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation. ... The astronomical clock in the Old-Town Square of Prague The Prague Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj (Czech: Pražský orloj, pron. ... A sextant is a measuring instrument generally used to measure the angle of elevation of a celestial object above the horizon. ... Sharafeddin Muzzafar-i Tusi, was a Persian mathematician of the middle ages, (1135 - 1213). ... The Torquetum or Turquet is a medieval astronomical instrument designed to take and convert measurements made in three sets of coordinates: Horizon, equatorial, and ecliptic. ...

References

  1. ^ Richard Nelson Frye: Golden Age of Persia. p. 163
  • Alessandro Gunella and John Lamprey, Stoeffler's Elucidatio (translation of Elucidatio fabricae ususque astrolabii into English). Published by John Lamprey, 2007. [email protected]
  • John North. God's Clockmaker, Richard of Wallingford and the invention of time. Hambledon and London, 2005.
  • Critical edition of Pelerin de Prusse on the Astrolabe (translation of Practique de Astralabe). Editors Edgar Laird, Robert Fischer. Binghamton, New York, 1995, in Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies. ISBN 0-86698-132-2
  • King, Henry Geared to the Stars: the evolution of planetariums, orreries, and astronomical clocks University of Toronto Press, 1978

Richard Nelson Frye (c. ...

External links

  • The Astrolabe
  • Keith's Astrolabe, a software astrolabe simulator and tutorial written in Java
  • A working model of the Dr. Ludwig Oechslin's Astrolabium Galileo Galilei watch
  • Ulysse Nardin Astrolabium Galilei Galileo: A Detailed Explanation

  Results from FactBites:
 
An Astrolabe date 1559 (1977 words)
An astrolabe is a two dimensional representation of the Ptolemaic cosmos, with the earth at its centre, showing the movement of the celestial sphere around the pole and allowing the relative position of stars to be determined at any given moment for one particular latitude.
Astrolabes could also be used for time-telling, by day or by night, as long as the sun or some recognisable star present on the rete was visible.
In this type of universal or ‘catholic’ projection the centre of the astrolabe and the projection correspond to the spring equinox, which is represented spatially as the point of intersection of the celestial equator and the ecliptic.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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