Armillary Sphere

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Tycho Brahe ~ 1585


     The instrument on the stamp is Tycho Brahe's Great Equatorial Armillary. It was 3 meters in diameter. Built in 1585, it is an armillary sphere reduced to its bare essentials. It has been estimated that it was accurate to 38.6 seconds of arc.

Swedeb 2150

Ming Dynasty

     Zhang Heng created the first armillary sphere in 117 a.d. The armillary sphere on the stamp is a replica made in 1437 during the Ming Dynasty of an armillary made during the Song Dynasty (960-1127).

SCN 201

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