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armillary sphere

noun

, Astronomy.
  1. an ancient instrument consisting of an arrangement of rings, all of which are circles of the same sphere, used to show the relative positions of the celestial equator, ecliptic, and other circles on the celestial sphere.


armillary sphere

noun

  1. a model of the celestial sphere consisting of rings representing the relative positions of the celestial equator, ecliptic, etc, used by early astronomers for determining the positions of stars


armillary sphere

/ ärmə-lĕr′ē,är-mĭlə-rē /

  1. An early astronomical device made of fixed and movable rings representing circles of the celestial sphere, such as the ecliptic and the celestial equator. It was used as early as the third century bce as both a teaching instrument and an observational tool.


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Word History and Origins

Origin of armillary sphere1

First recorded in 1550–60

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Example Sentences

Topping the piece is a small armillary sphere representing the Ptolemaic system.

This machine, he says, has a circumference of thirty-two feet, being constructed in the form of an armillary sphere.

The piece may be referred to as a fine example of the armillary sphere of the period.

The province of the armillary sphere was to make these measurements extremely accurate.

The portrait is supposed to represent the unknown artist's wife; the angel holds an armillary sphere.

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