- an astronomical instrument for taking the altitude of the sun or stars and for the solution of other problems in astronomy and navigation: used by Greek astronomers from about 200 b.c. and by Arab astronomers from the Middle Ages until superseded by the sextant.
Origin of astrolabe
Examples from the Web for astrolabe
Historical Examples of astrolabe
The rest of the voyage of the Astrolabe was in well-known waters.
There were also in this library an astrolabe, and a sphere with the signs of the Zodiac.The Care of Books
John Willis Clark
The Astrolabe had anchored in the same depth, and upon a similar bottom.
Astrolabe: a machine used at sea to measure the distances of stars.Chaucer for Children
Mrs. H. R. Haweis
See Chaucer's own treatise on The Astrolabe, which he describes.
- an instrument used by early astronomers to measure the altitude of stars and planets and also as a navigational aid. It consists of a graduated circular disc with a movable sighting deviceCompare sextant
Word Origin for astrolabe
- An ancient instrument used widely in medieval times by navigators and astronomers to determine latitude, longitude, and time of day. The device employed a disk with 360 degrees marked on its circumference. Users took readings from an indicator that pivoted around the center of the suspended device like the hand of a clock. The astrolabe was replaced by the sextant in the 18th century.