Ancient astronomical instruments.

Ancient astronomical instruments.

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Credit: MARK WILLIAMSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A panoramic view of historical Chinese astronomical instruments on the roof of the Beijing Ancient Observatory in Beijing, China, an astronomical observatory that dates from the 1400s. From left to right: equatorial armilla (1673) to measure true solar time and right ascension and declination of celestial objects; sextant (1673) to measure angular distance between any two stars less than 60 degrees apart, as well as angular diameters of the sun and moon; azimuth theodolite (1715) to determine azimuth and altitude (elevation angle); ecliptic armilla (1673) to measure ecliptic longitude difference and latitude; celestial globe (1673) to determine azimuth and altitude of objects, particularly at rising and setting times; new armilla (1744) with quadrant (1673) – to measures altitudes or zenith distances - behind.

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Keywords: 1400, 1400s, 15th, altitude, ancient, angle, armilla, armillary, astronomical, azimuth, beijing, century., china, chinese, declination, elevation, equatorial, historical, instrument, measurement, measuring, observatory, sextant, sphere

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