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strolabes are ancient analog computers for determining star positions, time of day, sunrise and sunset, direction to Mecca, etc.  They have sophisticated designs based for the most part on stereographic projection principles laid out by the Ancient Greeks and preserved by the Arab world.  They are a fascinating interplay of science and art.


Background and Topics

The Astrolabe, by James E. Morrison: This is a new, absolutely unique and wonderful book on the mathematics needed to create accurate, beautiful designs of astrolabes, quadrants and other related instruments. There is no other book like this one, and I enthusiastically recommend it for anyone with an interest in these instruments. I have written a more detailed review of it on my blog that can be found here. Mr. Morrison's webpage with additional information as well as a sample chapter to download can be found here.

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