Friday, August 15, 2008
Why Gallileo is way cooler than Bill Gates
Astronomer with astrolabe 15th century woodcut
The astrolabe is an ancient astronomical computer used for solving problems relating to time and the position of the Sun and stars in the sky. To use an astrolabe an astronomer drew the sky on the face of the instrument and marked it so positions in the sky can be found. The moveable components of the astrolabe were then adjusted to the required date and time. Once set, the entire sky, both visible and invisible, was able to be represented allowing a number of astronomical problems such as the calculation of time during the day or night, the timing of celestial events like sunrise or sunset to be accurately figured in a very visual way.
And all in a world without Microsoft.