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Tyco Brahe Sphere in Santa Fe

David Harber, has unveiled the world’s only working Tycho Brahe Equatorial Armillary Sphere, a piece commissioned by St John’s College, a liberal arts college in Santa Fe.

Armillary spheres were the precursor to the telescope and provided a geocentric model for measuring the movements of stars and planets. Over 400 years ago, the celebrated Danish astronomer and mathematician, Tycho Brahe, perfected the equatorial armillary sphere, creating the most accurate instrument of its kind before the telescope was invented.

Working alongside faculty members from St John’s College and British historians, David Harber was able to piece together this historic design from Tycho Brahe’s elaborate writings and illustrations, creating the only functioning armillary sphere of its kind in the world.

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Tyco Brahe Sphere in Santa Fe

Harber explains: “This is a phenomenal project and, I hope, the start of many, many hours of star-gazing for the students of St John’s College. Sadly a fire destroyed the last of Tycho Brahe’s instruments in 1728, so it was only with the help of faculty members from St John’s College and scholars in the UK that we were able to piece together the information required to create this contemporary take on a historic design.”

The armillary sphere is 2.5 metres tall and made from marine-grade, mirror-polished stainless steel. It takes measurements of the positions of celestial objects by assigning a coordinate system to the celestial sphere..

Tyco Brahe Sphere in Santa Fe

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