armillary sphere

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armillary sphere

(ar -mă-lair-ee) A device, dating back to antiquity, composed of a set of graduated rings representing circles on the celestial sphere, such as the ecliptic, celestial equator, and colures. The whole globe often revolved about an axis – the polar axis – within horizon and meridian circles. Movable sighting adjustments enabled a star to be observed and its coordinates to be read off the relevant circles.
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An illustration of the type of armillary sphere used by the great scientist Tycho Brahe. Reproduced by permission of Fortean Picture Library.

Armillary Sphere

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

An armillary (from Latin word armilla, meaning “bracelet”) sphere is a skeletal sphere consisting of rings that represent the more important celestial circles utilized by astrologers—the ecliptic, the meridian, the horizon, the celestial equator, etc.

References in periodicals archive ?
His personal emblem, the armillary sphere, is present in all three tapestries, including being the centrepiece of one.
After praising God and introductory words on the necessity of astronomical instrumentation, the treatise begins with the description of the five instruments mentioned in Ptolemy's Almagest: halqa nuhasiyya (two meridian rings, I, 12); lubna (quadrant, I, 12); another halqa nuhasiyya (equinoctial ring, III, 1); dhat al-halaq (armillary sphere, V.
Armillary spheres were originally used to make astronomical measurements, but gained huge popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries as a means of teaching astronomy.
In the Hampden Portrait Elizabeth wears two large framed jewels, with the jewel at the bottom being capped by an armillary sphere.
A painting from the National Gallery's own collection depicts Christian's young daughter Dorothea, who holds an inverted armillary sphere, her world turned upside down.
New additions to the format were: Rainer's Sun Corner: The sunny day provided an excellent opportunity to show off Rainer Jakob's 'Sun Corner' which included seven beautiful sundials, an armillary sphere and an analemmatic sundial--six were built by Rainer himself.
Lorraine previously ran The Armillary Coffee Rooms, in Binley Woods.
The imposing Armillary, located on a roundabout at the Banbury Road junction with Trinity Road in Stratford-on-Avon, was installed in April 2007 despite opposition from local residents.
Inspired by ancient astronomy armillary spheres, the Equinox collection has three interlocking rings that pivot.
Among the sculptures are an armillary sphere, used to pinpoint the position of heavenly bodies, and a sextant, used to measure distances between stars and a celestial globe.