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Medieval illustration of an astrolabe

Medieval illustration of an astrolabe

R102/0075

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Credit

JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Astrolabe. Medieval manuscript page showing the dial of an astrolabe and associated text. The astrolabe consisted of circles marked with angular measurements. By aligning the astrolabe with the horizon, the angular heights (altitudes) and positions (azimuths) of stars in the sky could be measured. Astrolabes were widely used in astronomy and astrology and were one of the most important scientific instruments of the time. The decoration seen on the face of the astrolabe show that it was valued for its appearance as much as it was for its scientific usefulness. Image taken from De Arte Matematicum (manuscript 1043) in the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, France.

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