CHRIS HELLIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS HELLIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Century brass astrolabe. The astrolabe is an early time-telling instrument used to calculate the positions of the sun and stars in the sky at a given moment and location. Developed in the Islamic world, the astrolabe was used to determine prayer times and the direction to Mecca. This example is from Damascus, Syria, and dates from 1326.
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