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.
Enlarge picture
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.
While the nature of the instrument is as yet unclear, it appears to have been an instrument having the same applications as the armillary sphere. (51)
1585), and the serpent with an armillary sphere above its head in Isaac Oliver's Rainbow Portrait (c.
The armillary sphere is an ancient astronomical device used to illustrate the old geocentric universe (the "world" in the parlance of the day), and is a most fascinating device, both in its historical roots and mechanically.
In 1610 he had to improvise an armillary sphere, using the metal hoops of an old barrel.
As empirical evidence and theoretical coherence multiplied on the Copernicans, some high ecclesiastics not only winked, but unsuccessfully tried to reassure the faithful: upon receiving a Copernican armillary sphere from the cardinal-president of the Congregation of the Index in the early eighteenth century, the Bolognese Academy of Sciences nervously commissioned Ptolemaic and Tychonic counterparts for it.
For the first number of Abstraction-Creation, Art Non-Figuratif in 1932, Calder prepared a statement to accompany a reproduction of Little Universe, an open wire orb resembling an armillary sphere:
She holds an armillary sphere: a type of analog computer used by astronomers and astrologers to figure out positions.
A great armillary sphere showing the workings of the heavens was to be in the center of the room.
The photograph here shows Hubble and Nicolas posing with an armillary sphere. A look at other photographs of Hubble in the Huntington's collections reveals a man who rarely smiled for the camera.
Although the sky rolls forward unassisted by hydrodynamic propulsion, about 2,000 years ago, during China's Later, or Eastern, Han dynasty (AD 23-220), a renowned and innovative astronomer, Zhang Heng, coupled a water clock with an armillary sphere to drive that instrument at the diurnal rate.