Celestial globe, Beijing, China

Celestial globe, Beijing, China

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Celestial globe at the Imperial Astronomical Observatory, Beijing (Peking), China. This observatory was built in 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. The celestial globe was built in 1663 and was used to determine the time in which the celestial bodies will rise and set, as well as the altitude and azimuth of the bodies at any given time.

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