Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Antikythera Mechanism: A 2000 Year Old Eclipse Predictor

'The Antikythera Mechanism is a complex geared mechanism that is over 2000 years old. The remains of the device were first discovered in 1902, when an archaeologist noticed a heavily corroded gear wheel amongst artifacts recovered by sponge divers from a sunken Roman cargo ship. The ship was en route from the Greek island of Rhodes to Rome when it sank off the island of Antikythera, between Kythera & Crete. It is thought to be dated from 150 to 100 BC. & that it could possibly be the work of the great astronomer Hipparchus.

The mechanism, often described as the world's first mechanical computer, was used to calculate & display astronomical cycles & to accurately predict lunar & solar eclipses. The mechanism is technically more complex than any known device constructed for at least a millennium afterwards & is the first known instrument to use geared teeth within gears!'

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