Whipple Museum of the History of Science (III)

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

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Indian astrologer’s celestial globe from the 19th century:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This celestial globe is extremely unusual in being inscribed in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, representing a blending of traditions. It was probably designed for astrological use.

English Ptolemaic armillary sphere, by Richard Glynne (c. 1715)

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Ptolemy’s cosmology placed the moon along with Mercury, Venus, the sun, Jupiter and Saturn in orbit around the Eart, which stood at rest at the centre of the universe. Although a sun-centred universe was more widely accepted among astronomers in the 18th century, Ptolemaic armillary spheres such as this one continued to be made and sold.

Upstairs there is another exhibition related to globes and armilar spheres and we can find some terrestial globes and Copernican and more Ptolemaic spheres. Here you have one Ptolemaic one dated in 1790:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, I must point to two delicatessen. The first one is this little ivory plaque showing astronomers working with their instruments:

Photography by Carlos Dorc

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The other is this picture showing a figure pointing to a globe from a section of the Roman mosaic from mid-2nd century (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano):

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

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