ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Astrolabe being used by a sailor. By aligning the astrolabe with the horizon and a fixed star, the current time can be calculated. The astrolabe was invented by Hipparchus (c.190BC- c.120BC), Greek astronomer and mathematician. It was developed further in the Islamic world and reached Europe in the 14th century. From the 16th century to the 18th century it was the chief navigational instrument. Astrolabes were also widely used in astronomy and astrology.
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