Paris Observatory meridian circle

Paris Observatory meridian circle

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Paris Observatory meridian circle, Paris, France. This instrument, also called a transit circle, is used to observe the moment a star or other celestial object passes the meridian, while also measuring its angular distance from the zenith. The facilities at the Paris Observatory were improved by the 1878 donation by Raphael Bischoffsheim (1823-1906) that funded a meridian circle designed by Frederic William Eichens (1818-1884). Artwork from 'A Handbook of Descriptive and Practical Astronomy' (1890, 4th edition, volume II) by British author George Frederick Chambers (1841–1915).

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