4. Armillary sphere by Carlo Plato, Rome, 1588

Type: Instrument
Inv. No. 45453
Source: MHS

The armillary sphere was an emblematic instrument of Renaissance astronomy. It contained the principal circles astronomers used when studying the motions of the heavens – the equator, tropics and ecliptic (the annual path of the sun) – and it could turn on an axis pointing to the pole and adjustable for latitude. The earth is at the centre and the curly points are stars on the celestial sphere.

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