Celestial globe

From Academic Kids

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ChineseCelestialGlobe.JPG
Celestial globe from Qing Dynasty

Throughout Chinese history, astronomers have created celestial globes to assist the observation of the stars.

The earliest celestial globe was dated back to 52 BC in the West Han dynasty by the astronomers Geng Shou-chang (耿壽 昌) and Luo-xia Hong (落下 閎). The first water powered celestial globe was created by Zhang Heng in the East Han dynasty.

Then Li Chun-feng (李淳風) of the Tang dynasty created one in 633 AD with three spherical layers to calibrate multiple aspects of astronomical observations.

In 723 AD, Tang dynasty buddhist monk Yi-xing (一行) and government official Liang Ling-zan (梁令瓚) combined Zhang Heng's water powered celestial globe with an escapement device. The result was allegedly the world's first water powered mechanical clock.

See also: celestial sphere, Chinese constellation, Chinese zodiac

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