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The word Astrolabe comes from Greek astron, meaning "star" and lambanien, "to take, to look for". It is considered the mathematical jewel of astronomy.
The invention of the astrolabe is attributed to Diogenes Laertius. Other searches show that it was devised by Ptolemy, as he invented the flat astrolabe.
After falling in disuse, the astrolabe was rediscovered by the Arab astronomers who meet for conferences at the House of the Wisdom of Baghdad in the first half the 10th century.
The oldest astrolabe was designed by Nastulus in the year 927 and it is displayed in the National Museum of Kuwait. This astrolabe that we feature is based on one created by Phillipe Danfrie, a Parisian mathematician and device maker, about the year 1584.
It is a "planispheric" astrolabe, and its type projection is called stereographic.
This type of astrolabe were the most common and usually were equipped with various plates with different latitudes to be used in different places.
The astrolabe is both decorative and fully functional. It is accurate, with little margin of error, within 2 degrees of the inscribed latitude.
We offer two versions: one for prepared for 41° (accurate between 38° to 43° north latitude, which spans a line across the middle of the United States, from DC to San Francisco.) The other version includes 3 latitudes: 41° inscribed on the base plate, and removable disks for 45° and 50° north latitude.
The astrolabe is provided with a comprehensive instruction manual which describes its history as well as instructions for use.