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ERIC Number: EJ1044225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
From the Scale Model of the Sky to the Armillary Sphere
Gangui, Alejandro; Casazza, Roberto; Paex, Carlos
Physics Teacher, v52 n7 p403-405 Oct 2014
It is customary to employ a semi-spherical scale model to describe the apparent path of the Sun across the sky, whether it be its diurnal motion or its variation throughout the year. A flat surface and three bent semi-rigid wires (representing the three solar arcs during solstices and equinoxes) will do the job. On the other hand, since very early times, there have been famous armillary spheres built and employed by the most outstanding astronomers for the description of the celestial movements. In those instruments, many of them now considered true works of art, Earth lies in the center of the cosmos and the observer looks at the whole "from the outside." Of course, both devices, the scale model of the sky and the armillary sphere, serve to represent the movement of the Sun, and in this paper we propose to show their equivalence by a simple construction. Knowing the basics underlying the operation of the armillary sphere will give us confidence to use it as a teaching resource in school.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A