Whipple Museum of the History of Science (II)

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The collection of astrolabes is very interesting and there are pieces from the 14th to the 19th century.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

For example, look at this English astrolabe from the 14th century:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

One of the most interesting objects of the exhibition is this Egyptian sundial from the 1st to 3rd century AD (Roman Imperial date):

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Sundial construction requires expert knowledge of the apparent movement of the Sun, both in its daily and annual motion. Hence the construction of sundials has often been considered part of astronomy.

The diagram that represents annual motion is called the ‘analemma’ and was known in classical antiquity. Many different designs of sundial can be derived from the analemma. This dial has two scales, one for the morning, one for the afternoon; the shadow is cast by the prominence between them.

Of course there are more sundials like this pillar dial made in 1542 and this ring dial made in 1588…

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

… or all these different dials of different kinds, epochs and countries:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Upstairs there is a replica of an antique globe fragment which is on display in the Neues Museum:

WM29

LocationWhipple Museum of the History of Science in Cambridge (map)

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