German armillary sphere, 1553

Made:
1553 in Germany, Cologne and North Rhine-Westphalia
maker:
Caspar Vopel
Caspar Vopel
SMG00043745 Made by Caspar Vopel in Cologne, Germany in 1522 Made by Caspar Vopel in Cologne, Germany in 1522 German armillary sphere, 1553 (armillary sphere)

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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SMG00043745
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Made by Caspar Vopel in Cologne, Germany in 1522
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Made by Caspar Vopel in Cologne, Germany in 1522
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Armillary Sphere; brass, 5 1/2-inches diameter on small turned painted wooden stand. Overall height just less than 8 inches. Inscribed on tropic of cancer: "Caspar Vopelius Mathe. Professor Ubiorum Coloniae Hanc Sphaeram Faciebat Anno. 1553". Earth represented by brass ball at centre; four movable circles for Moon, Sun, Jupiter and Saturn.

Made by Caspar Vopel in Cologne, Germany in 1522, this brass armillary sphere has a turned wooden stand. A broad band, finely engraved with the star patterns of the Zodiac encircles the instrument. The armillary sphere is a demonstration device to explain the movements of the Sun, Moon, stars and planets across the sky. Its interlocking rings can be used to teach astronomical principles in same manner as a celestial globe or act as a model the universe. Based on the premise of an Earth centred universe, the armillary sphere was modified in the seventeenth century to teach the theory that the Earth orbits the Sun.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1952-223
Materials:
brass and wood
type:
armillary sphere
credit:
Backer, H.E.