Antikythera mechanism the oldest astronomical calculator, famous for having intricate gear systems centuries ahead of their time. Now new work shows the Antikythera mechanism used pure geometry, as well as flashy gears to track celestial bodies’ motion through the heavens.
The machine kept track of the day of the year, the positions of the sun and the moon, and perhaps the other planets. It also predicted eclipses and kept track of upcoming Olympic games.
Most of the mechanism’s calculations were driven by a series of 37 interlocking dials, which may have been manipulated by a hand crank. The front of the mechanism had a clock-like face that denoted the calendar date in two concentric circles, one showing the signs of the Greek zodiac.
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