Beijing Ancient Observatory, artwork

Beijing Ancient Observatory, artwork

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Beijing Ancient Observatory. 18th Century drawing of the Imperial Observatory in Beijing (Peking), China. This observatory was built during the Ming Dynasty (1442) to facilitate both astronomical purposes and seafaring navigation. It was refitted in the late 17th century by the Jesuits. Additional bronze instruments were supervised by Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688), a Flemish priest and a special advisor to the Qing court regarding the correction of the Chinese calendar. Tycho Brahe's Mechanica (1598) had a strong influence on Verbiest and hence the instruments were based on Brahe's designs. Illustrated by the 18th century geographical author Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville in around 1790.

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