Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Antikythera Mechanism

This ancient device, recovered from a shipwreck near Rhodes in 1900, has been in the news in the last week, as curators have finally figured out what it did: forecast positions of celestial bodies, an important matter in an era when astrology and astronomy were closely wed. Michael Wright, a curator at the Science Museum in London, has now reconstructed it. There's a good account of his project over at Nature.

AP Photo by Thanassis Stavrakis, via MSNBC. A tip of the hat to AUGuries, the newsletter for users of Astrolabe astrological software.

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