Ptolemy's observatory, 2nd century AD

Ptolemy's observatory, 2nd century AD

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ptolemy's observatory in Alexandria, ancient Egypt. Coloured historical artwork of Claudius Ptolemy (AD c100-170), an Egyptian or Greek astronomer, geographer and mathematician, surrounded by astronomical equipment. Among the instruments seen are Ptolemy's rulers (lower centre) and a copper disc (far right), which he used to demonstrate the law of reflection. At this observatory Ptolemy made the observations that supported Earth-centred models of solar and planetary motion. This view dominated astronomical thinking until the mid 16th century. Engraving from the 19th century book Vies des Savants Illustres.

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