ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flamsteed's sextants. Rear (left) and front (right) views of an equatorially mounted sextant. These diagrams are from 'Historiae Coelestis Britannicae' (1725), by the English astronomer John Flamsteed (1646-1719). Flamsteed was appointed by Charles II as the first Astronomer Royal in 1675. He was charged with the construction of accurate lunar and stellar tables. The Royal Greenwich Observatory, with instruments like the ones shown here, was created for the purpose, and the task was to occupy him for the rest of his life. Coelestis Britannicae' contained the positions of nearly 3000 stars.
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