Astronomical Images : Volvelle for the position of the Moon

Sebastian Muenster

Astronomical Images

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Sebastian Muenster (1488-1552) was a cartographer and cosmographer. He produced several works on topics from the making of sundials to the principles of mathematics. His <i>Cosmographia</i> was widely read and published in a number of European languages, going through more than twenty editions in 100 years. <i>Organum uranicum</i> was divided into two parts. Part 1 introduced the Ptolemaic system, with its apparatus of epicycles, and the means of calculating planetary motions. Part 2 featured a series of volvelles for the determination of planetary positions. The text below the figure here gave instructions for turning the paper wheels and dials and moving the string fastened in the middle of the volvelle so as to work out the place of the Moon in the zodiac. Manipulation of the volvelle served to replace several calculations, making planetary astronomy more accessible.</p>


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