ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
English astronomy. Title page of a 1558 book by the English alchemist Thomas Charnock (c.1524-1581). The artwork shows one astronomer (at right) using a sighting tube, while another (at left) holds an astrolabe. Stars, the Sun, and the Moon, are depicted above their heads. They are dressed in monks robes and hoods. An astrolabe was used both to predict the position of astronomical bodies such as the stars, Sun, Moon, and planets, and to tell the time from the position of the stars. The sighting tube, a precursor of the telescope, was used to make the observations of the stars and other astronomical bodies. Charnock lived in Somerset.
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