Astronomical clock

astronomical clock

El astronomical clock of a city is one of the most striking tourist attractions since it has a great history and function. For example, for visitors to Prague, the astronomical clock is one of the most visited places. Among the stories that are told there are some incredible ones.

Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you all the history and characteristics of the astronomical clock.

Astronomical clock capable of displaying time

Old technology

The history of the Prague astronomical clock has numerous details that are totally incredible. For example, one of them is that they reached the master who built said clock so that he could not create another one like that. There are those who believe that it is an amulet that serves to keep all citizens completely safe. As technology advances and the reality of certain myths in history is discovered, we leave these stories behind to focus on how they work. Still passing the years, the pieces of the astronomical clock remain fascinating for any lover of analog systems.

And it is that it is a clock capable of showing time in many ways. The design is that of a astrolabe and consists of 3 gears that is capable of marking 5 moments of time at the same time. If we look at the upper part we see a puppet theater located between two blinds in which the 12 apostles are drawn. Each one of them leaves every 60 minutes to indicate what time it is. The figures are more modern than the clock, although they date from the XNUMXth century. This means that the figures were introduced after their creation.

At the bottom of it we have a calendar that has illustrations of the months and seasons. Also, indicate which is the Saint of each day of the year. Both parties have an artistic interest that attracts thousands of tourists to Prague year after year. The jewel of this watch is the central body since it was a piece originally designed in 1410.

Astronomical clock capacity

prague clock

And it is that this watch is very striking as it is capable of indicating the time in five different ways. Its system of pieces is quite curious. We are going to detail each one of them. On the one hand, we have the golden sun that moves around the zodiacal circle. This piece is capable of showing us three hours at the same time. The first indication is the position of the golden hand. It is located on Roman numerals and tells us the time in Prague. When the hand passes through the golden lines, it indicates the time in the form of unequal hours. Finally, when passing through the outer ring, they mark the hours after sunrise according to Bohemian time.

Another of the capabilities of the astronomical clock is to indicate the time between sunrise and sunset. The system to indicate this time is divided into 12 "hours". To do this, use the distance between the sun and the center of the sphere. Keep in mind that this measure changes throughout the year, since not all days are the same length. As we get closer to the summer season, the days are longer and the time between sunrise and sunset is longer. On the contrary, when we are in the winter time we have a shorter length between sunrise and sunset.

Third, the outer edge of the astronomical clock features numbers written in Schwabacher's typeface in gold. These numbers are in charge of indicating the works as it was done in Bohemia and begins to mark from 1 in the evening. So that it can coincide with the solar time, the rings move throughout the year so that it can be measured more accurately.

On the other hand, we have the zodiac ring. It is in charge of indicating the location of the sun on the ecliptic. The ecliptic is nothing more than the curve through which the earth moves around the sun. It is the line where the terrestrial translation movement takes place. The order of the zodiacal ring is explained as the basis of the elliptical plane. The quite common to find it in any astronomical clock. The movement depends on the disk that moves the zodiacal ring.

Some curiosities

astronomical clock characteristics

The order of this ring is due to the use of a stereographic protection of the ecliptic plane. The North Pole is used as the basis of this plane. It may seem like a strange part, but it is the arrangement found in most astronomical clocks. Finally, one of the curiosities is that there is a lunar sphere that shows us the phases of our satellite. The movement here is similar to the main clock but somewhat faster. Most of the prominence that the astronomical clock gains was located in the central body.

Another curiosity is that it is composed of a stationary disc in the center and several rotating discs that work completely independently. As a summary, we see that it has the zodiacal ring and the outer edge that are written with Schwabacher typography. It also has three needles: one of them is the hand, the second hand is the sun that move through it from top to bottom and third a star point that is connected to the zodiacal ring.

Today it may be a fairly simple system in appearance, but in its day it was a technical prodigy. We are talking that the first piece was built in the year 1410 and there is nothing more to compare the technology of that time with that of now. It should be noted that the mechanical system is so slow that it is impossible to appreciate the movement with the human eye in real time. If we want to see the movement of the astronomical clock we must record and then advance. There are also some computer models where we can do different tests to see how it moves and how it works.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Prague astronomical clock and its characteristics.

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