Kircher's magnetic astrolabe, 1643

Kircher's magnetic astrolabe, 1643

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kircher's magnetic astrolabe. Diagram showing the principles of the magnetic astrolabe designed by the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (circa 1601-1680). The title across top and the text below are in Latin. An astrolabe was an astronomical device used to locate astronomical bodies and keep time. The larger circle is divided into 24 sections, while the smaller one is divided into twelve, marked with astrological symbols. This diagram was published in Kircher's Magnes sive de arte magnetica (second edition, 1643).

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