European astrolabe

Image number: 1878-0011_0003

European astrolabe

The astrolabe was the main astronomical instrument before the telescope. It could be used to tell the time, determine star positions at particular latitudes and predict future astronomical events.

Each curly pointer corresponds to a bright star. On this astrolabe you can see a tulip shape in the framework – the signature style of the renowned Arsenius family workshop in Flanders.

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Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
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