Imperial Astronomical Observatory, China

Imperial Astronomical Observatory, China

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Caption: Imperial Astronomical Observatory, Beijing (Peking), China. This observatory was built during the Ming Dynasty (1442) to facilitate both astronomical purposes and seafaring navigation. It was later refitted in the late 17th century by the Jesuits. Additional bronze instruments were supervised by Jesuit astronomer 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. Some of the instruments can be seen at left and atop a brick platform at upper centre.

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