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William Schickard, Astroscopium (Stuttgart, 1698)

Star Viewer

Schickard, a friend of Kepler’s, designed this “astroscopium,” a model intermediate between a planisphere and a celestial globe, to calculate the positions of the stars for any day and hour of the year. 

Schickard also devised a calculating machine to produce astronomical tables according to Kepler’s laws.

Print the plates and you can assemble your own Astroscopium model.

Galileo's World Exhibition Location

Source: History of Science Collections

Section: Calculation and Measurement

Section Number: 2

Object Number: 11

Subject Area(s): Astronomy, Scientific Instruments, Mathematics

Time Period: 17th Century

Region(s): Europe, Germany

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Exhibit Gallery OERs

The Abacus: Introduction

Abacus Learning Leaflet

How does an abacus work?

The Abacus was an instrument useful for various mathematical computations. This learning leaflet provides step-by-step instructions for the basic operations of the abacus


Ada Lovelace: First Computer Programmer

Ada Lovelace Learning Leaflet

What is the difference between a calculating machine and a computer? 

In notes appended to Ada Lovelace's translation of one of the first introductions to Charles Babbage's "Analytical Engine," she included an in-depth analysis of the significance and potential of Babbage's machine design. These dense notes, much longer than the text she translated, explained how Babbage's machine had the potential of becoming a programmable computer, instead of merely a calculator.