ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Azimuth theodolite at the Imperial Astronomical Observatory, Beijing (Peking), China. This observatory was built during the Ming Dynasty (1442) to facilitate both astronomical purposes and seafaring navigation. It was then refitted in the late 17th century by the Jesuits under the supervision of Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688). Later, in 1715, this theodolite was designed by German Jesuit Kilian Stumpf (1655-1720) for measuring the azimuth (horizontal) coordinates of celestial bodies.
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