History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Pair of armillary spheres

These instruments illustrate alternative arrangements of the planets and would no doubt have made an interesting display even though at the time they were made no serious astronomer would have doubted which was true. The sphere on the left illustrates the Ptolemaic system, with the earth stationary at the centre, whereas that on the right is Copernican and has the earth in orbit around the sun. Indulging in instruments of purely historical interest is one of many clues to the nature and use of the Orrery Collection.

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