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The Astrolabe is an historical astronomical instrument used by classical astronomers and navigators. Its many uses included locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars; determining local time given local longitude and vice-versa; surveying; and triangulation. The word ‘Astrolabe’ comes from Greek 'astron' star and 'lanbanien' to take, to look for...i.e. the seeking of stars. It is also considered the mathematical jewel of astronomy.
The invention of astrolabe is generally attributed to Diogenes Laercio. But other searches show that it was also made up by Ptolomeo, as he invented the flat astrolabe. However, after falling in disuse, the astrolabe returned to be used by the Arab astronomers who met for conferences at the House of the Wisdom of Baghdad in the first half of X century.
The oldest astrolabe was designed by Nastulus in the 927 and it is displayed in the National Museum of Kuwait.
However, you can now buy an superb replica which is offered by the firm of ‘SCIENTIFIC REPLICAS’, and is a near exact copy of the original made by Michael Asineus, famous French astronomer, way back in 1602. This measures just 13.5 cm in height and is about 8 mm thick. A truly brilliant example of a beautifully-made reproduction that would grace any coffee table and become a conversation piece in any company. and is supplied, complete with a stand, for just GBP 79.99 (around US $ 158.00)
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