Imperial Astronomical Observatory, China

Imperial Astronomical Observatory, China

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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 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.

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