Antikythera Mechanism

Topics: Planet, Sun, Antikythera mechanism Pages: 1 (206 words) Published: January 6, 2015
Pronounced: antee-KY-theera. This fascinating device has intrigued many historians for ages. It was discovered in 1901 in a shipwreck off of Greek Island, Antikythera. Inscriptions say that it was manufactured in Syracuse (Ancient Greece), around 87 BCE. This device was constructed based on astronomic theories by Greek astronomers. It is the size of a shoebox made of bronze originally mounted on wood, compiled of a complex system of as many as 30 gears with 225 teeth each (assumingly cut by hand). The front side had 2 dials – one a model to portray the motion of the Sun and Moon, the other displayed eclipses and planets- right down to the hour. The back side consisted of the 365 day Egyptian Calendar. The user could simply pick a day (as much as 19 yrs into the future) by turning a crank that activates the gears, displaying all data calculated by the device. The Antikythera mechanism can calculate the position of the 5 known planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), when eclipses would occur and to determine the 12 Zodiac signs. Originally, many Greek astronomers would use it for their research but later, the wealthy could own it, too. With great execution and engineering the Antikythera mechanism is regarded as the first mechanical computer of our time.
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