History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Inventory no. 68353 - Former Display Label

A pair of English PLANETARIA c.1700

Brass, silvered brass, and steel wire; on wooden stands. Unsigned and undated, but probably by John Rowley.

These two planetaria are constructed so as to demonstrate respectively the planetary theories of Ptolemy and Copernicus. They are representations of diagrams in J. C. Sturm's Scientia Cosmica ..., 1670. The orbits of the planets are represented by concentric rings marked with the appropriate planetary symbols.

This planetarium illustrates the Ptolemaic theory. The Earth is at the centre; about it revolve the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. (As the planetarium is at present, the symbols for Mercury and Venus, and for Saturn and Jupiter are erroneously reversed. Possibly this occurred at some time when the instrument was repaired.) An outer band is marked with the 12 Signs of the Zodiac.

[Orrery Collection, no. 1] Lent by Christ Church.

Other narratives:

Related Objects: