armillary sphere love

armillary sphere


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An old astronomical model with solid, usually metal rings, all great circles of a single sphere, used to display relationships among the principal celestial circles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An instrument consisting of graduated metal circles used to represent the motions of celestial bodies around the earth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a celestial globe consisting of metal hoops; used by early astronomers to determine the positions of stars


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Translation of French sphère armillaire, from Latin armilla, bracelet, from armus, shoulder; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • "Armillary sphere, (from armilla, Lat. a bracelet, or ring) in astronomy, is applied to an artificial sphere, composed of a number of metallic circles, which represent the several circles of the terrestrial sphere, put together in their natural order, to ease and assist the imagination, in conceiving the construction of the heavens, and the motions of the celestial bodies.

    "The Armillary-sphere of glass, in Pembroke-hall, Cambridge, constructed about 31 years since, by Dr. Long, is eighteen feet in diameter; and will conveniently contain 30 persons, who may sit within it, to view, as from a centre, the representation of the celestial sphere. The lower part of the sphere, which, to the inhabitants of these kingdoms, never rises above the horizon, is cut off; and the whole apparatus is so contrived, that, when you are within and in order, it may be turned round with as little labour as it takes to wind up a jack turnspit'>turnspit. For a further description and use of the armillary sphere, see Ferguson's Lectures, vol. I. p. 366."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 21

    October 14, 2008

  • These days rarely found outside period medieval fiction, typically having been used to bash in the head of some hapless victim.

    October 14, 2008

  • Around these parts, you'll see much smaller versions of the Pembroke Hall sphere as garden decorations. :-)

    October 14, 2008

  • Watch your back, reesetee -- we don't want to lose you.

    October 15, 2008

  • They are awfully sharp....

    October 15, 2008