Two sundials in Czestochowa

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

These two sundials are on the main door of the Sanctuary of Black Madonna in Jasna Góra in Czestochowa.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Location: Jasna Góra (map)

Fontanna Cosmopolis

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This fountain representing the Solar System was totally renovated and redesigned as a part of the Old Town of Torun renovation in 2008. It gushes water out of 115 nozzles in the perimeters of the orbits of the planets up to the height of 5 meters.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Location: Fontanna Cosmopolis in Torun (map)

Another monument to Copernicus

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Only five seconds to remember this other monument dedicated to Nicolaus Copernicus and his heliocentric system in Torun!

Location: map

Cahit Arf’s doodle

Cahit Arf (Selanik, 11 October 1910- Bebek, 26 December 1997) was a Turkish mathematician known for the Arf invariant of a quadratic form on characteristic 2.

I didn’t know who was this man until I saw him in the new 10 Turkish lires note:

He probably is the most important Turkish mathematician and the doodle published in 2010 to celebrate his 100th birthday is another example of this fact. Happy birthday Cahit!

The Gdansk Time-Ball

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

After the prize of 20.000 pounds established by the British Parliament in 1714 for someone who would find an exact method of measuring the geographical longitude of a ship on the open sea and the victory of John Harrison’s “chronometers”, the navigation across the oceans changed a lot. However, since even the most exact chronometers erred a few seconds after a long journey, a lot of sea ports decided to have a time-ball (as we saw in Greenwich!) installed on a tower or a lighthouse.

The ball’s fall at noon let the captains adjust their ship’s chronometers before the next voyage.

The Gdansk ball was the first one in the Baltic Sea and it seems to be the only openwork time-ball in the World. It was first constructed in 1876 on the top of a wooden tower which was especially built although it was transferred to the new Nowy Port lighthouse in 1894 (the current location!).

The invention ofradio by Marconi at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries spelled the end of the time-ball era. The first radio station in Gdansk went into service in 1921, and when in 1929 a heavy strom ripped the Gdansk time-ball off the top of the lighthouse, it was never repaired. First in 2008, four years after the lighthouse itself was restored and opened to the public, was the famous Time-Ball reconstructed.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

I think I’m going to look for other time-balls in the World. It seems to be very interesting!

Location: The Gdansk Time-Ball in Nowy Port (map)

The Copernican Chapel in Torun

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The Copernican Chapel (or the Guardian Angels Chapel) in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist is one of the most interestings chapels in thsi beautiful church in the heart of Torun because it houses Copernicus’ memorabilia.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The first thing that focus the point of interest is the early Gothic baptismal font (13th century) where he was baptised:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

There is also a bust of Copernicus by Wojciech Rojowski was founded in 1766 by prince Józef Aleksander Jablonowski and it’s the oldest monument of Copernicus in the World. It was kept in the city hall for a lot of years but in 1809 it was moved to the current location:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, there is the famous epitaph from the 15th century which has been reproduce so many times since then in paintings and books:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

I am sure that the church has other interesting things to discover because all the barroque chapels are full of art but I was very happy when I could finally see this epitaph!

Location: Basilica of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist in Torun (map)

Al-Bîrûnî’s birthday

Abû al-Rayhân Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bîrûnî was born near Kath in the region of Khwârazm (now Kara-Kalpakskaya) in September 4, 973, and was died in Gbazna(?) after 1050. He lived in Kath and in Jurjanîyya and we know that he began his studies under Abû Nasr Mansûr (970-1036). He became a good mathematician and astronomer very fast and he measured the latitude of Kath observing the maximum altitude of the Sun when he was only 17 y.o. He also wrote some astronomical and mathematical works before 995 as we can check in his  Cartography (a book about map projections).

About 995, al-Bîrûnî left the civil war in Khwârazm and moved to Rayy (now near Tehran) where he lived in poverty. We know that he worked with al-Khujandî who had a large sextant with which he had determined the obliquity of the ecliptic.

Through the observational data registered by him we know that he spent some days in Rayy and that he was back in his birthplace in 1004. That year he became protected by the rulers of the region and he got enough money to build an instrument at Jurjanîyya to observe solar meridian transits. He made observations with it in 1016 and one year later he and Abû Nasr Mansûr were made prisoners by Mahmûd, the new ruler of Khwârazm. Al-Bîrûnî continued working as astronomer but he had a lot of problems with victorious Mahmûd. However, between 1018 and 1020 he made observations from Ghazna supported by Mahmûd and this work allowed him to determinate the latitude of the place.

Al-Bîrûnî travelled to India together with Mahmûd’s military expedition and he spent at least five years working on his India, in which he computed latitudes of cities and explained calendars, geography, literature…

After Mahmud’s death, the next rulers allow al-Bîrûnî to be free to travel and work in his interests and he became the most prolific Arabic mathematician in the World. He produced 146 works with more than 13.000 pages!

Russian stamp (1973)

So, al-Bîrûnî’s doodle published two years ago in the Arabic countries is a very good example of a great scientific contribution!

Some caricatures of famous mathematicians

Archimedes

Archimedes

In my last post about the Hewelanium Centre of Gdansk, I must show you the caricatures of the famous mathematicians and astronomers which you find on the walls (and you also can buy as a puzzle in the shop of the museum). You have pictures of Archimedes, Pascal, Copernicus:

Copernicus

Copernicus

Halley and Hevelius:

Halley and Hevelius

Halley and Hevelius

Galileo:

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

Sir Isaac Newton:

Newton

Newton

and Albert Einstein:

Einstein

Einstein

These aren’t good pictures but the posters are in 3D and my camera is not the best camera in the World!

Location: Hewelianum Centre in Gdansk (map)

Another monument dedicated to Hevelius

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

 The first monument to Hevelius built in Gdansk was initiative of TPD club Neptune of Gdansk and it was possible because of the donation of the citizens in 1973. The author was Michael Gąsienica Szostak and the monument was moved to the green square in front of the hotel Mercure Gdańsk Old Town (formerly Hotel Hevelius) in 2004.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Location: Monument to Hevelius (map)

Monument to Hevelius

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This monument was designed by Jan Szczypka on 2006 and was unveiled on January 28 to conmemmorate the 395th anniversary of his birth. It’s opposite the Old Town Hall and near the church where he was buried which tower can be seen behind the monument.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Hevelis was the last great astronomer who worked without telescopes so he is working with a quadrant in spite of the 17th century modern devices.

Next to him there is a stellar map painted on a large wall waiting to be observed by this great astronomer.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Location: Monument to Hevelius in Gdansk (map)

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