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 ?
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.
Caspar Vopel born; a maker of globes, armillary spheres, nocturnals, quadrants and maps.
Inspired by ancient astronomy armillary spheres, the Equinox collection has three interlocking rings that pivot.
Tosi selected the images of his study according to the objects that accompany the sitters: astrolabes, regular bodies, solar clocks, armillary spheres, globes, astronomical instruments, and mathematical texts.
Armillary spheres of the late Middle Ages and the early eighteenth-century proto-orreries of George Graham (essay VII) served similar purposes in different social contexts.
armillary spheres to evoke thoughts of adventure, exploration,