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Encyclopedia > Torquetum

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. In a sense, the Torquetum is an analog computer.


The first Torquetums are thought to have been built some time in the 13th century. The only surviving examples date from the 16th century. Though such an instrument was described by Ptolemy in a much earlier era, it is not certain if one was built at the time.


A Torquetum can be seen in the famous portrait The ambassadors (1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger (e.g. [1] (http://www.artprints-on-demand.co.uk/noframes/holbein/ambassadors.htm)]). It is placed on the right side of the table right next to and above the elbow of the ambassador clad in a long brown coat or robe. The original of the painting, or good high resolution copies, shows much of the details of the inscriptions on the disk and half disk which make up the top of this particular kind of Torquetum.


Many Web pages explain how to build and use a Torquetum, as a learning process for the Science of Astronomy.


See also

External links

  • Instructions for the construction of a Torquetum (http://www.humboldt.edu/~rap1/EarlySciInstSite/Instruments/Torquetum/Turq.html)

  Results from FactBites:
 
ESI_RepInst.Torquetum (3412 words)
The torquetum or turquet is a complex and sophisticated instrument characteristic of Medieval astronomy and the Ptolemaic tradition.
A late observation in which a torquetum was involved was the observation of Spica in 1575 by Landgrave William IV working with Tycho Brahe.
The base of the torquetum lies on top of the pine frame and is held in place by three heavy bronze brackets modified from some brackets salvaged from discarded physics apparatus.
Torquetum (242 words)
The first Torquetums are thought to have been built some time in the 13th century.
A Torquetum can be seen in the famous portrait ''The ambassadors'' (1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger (e.g.
It is placed on the right side of the table right next to and above the elbow of the ambassador clad in a long brown coat or robe.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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