Clock-driven celestial globe, Chinese, 1830.

Clock-driven celestial globe, Chinese, 1830.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm


This celestial globe was made by Qi Mei-lu in Wuyuan, China. The metal globe depicts Chinese star patterns and is labelled in Chinese script. Inside the globe a clockwork mechanism turns the sphere in time with the Earth's rotation. The celestial globe is a three-dimensional model of the heavens on which the stars are plotted on the outside of a sphere. Originating in the Ancient World, it was probably inspired by the discovery that the Earth was round. The globe could be used to teach and demonstrate various astronomical principles.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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