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Vines' clock showing sidereal and solar times, 1836.

Richardson, Claire

Vines' clock showing sidereal and solar times, 1836.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 19cm x 32cm


Designed by Joseph Vines and made by Walsh of Newbury, Berkshire, this clock indicates solar time on one set of dials and sidereal time on the other. A sidereal day is the interval of time between one pasage of a given star acros the meridian in the southern sky and the next pasage of the same star. It is nearly four minutes shorter than a solar day because the sun itself is moving slowly through the stars in a direction opposite to that of the apparent rotation of the stellar system round the earth's axis. The clock also has a moon hand which shows the phases of the moon and its position relative to the sun. The timekeeping is controlled by a gravity escapement and gridiron pendulum. Shown in the Time Measurement Gallery at the Science Museum, London.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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