Search our collection
Telescope by Galileo (replica)
Facsimile of telescope by Galileo with main tube measuring 2-foot, 8 1/2-inches and magnification of 21 times. Made by Cipriani and purchased from the Museo di Fisica e Storia Naturale, Florence, Italy in 1923.
Original orrery planetary model by John Rowley, 1712-1713
The original orrery c. 1712, made for the Earl of Orrery by John Rowley, London copied from a planetarium model made by George Graham.
Norman Lockyer’s seven-prism spectroscope
Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms (one damaged. Thought to be the one made by John Browning, London for Norman Lockyer who first used it to view Solar Prominences [chromosphere] outside a solar eclipse.
Isaac Newton’s reflecting telescope (replica)
Replica of Newton's first reflecting telescope made in 1668 and now in the possession of the Royal Society of London. Made for the Science Museum in 1924 by Mr F.L. Agate
French Clock with orrery planetary model by Raingo Freres, 1830-1832
Orrery Clock by Raingo Frères, Paris with Sun, Earth and Moon globes on pillar stand with music box in wooden base. Original glass dome absent when acquired.
Islamic planispheric astrolabe in brass, diameter 25 cm, with rete, two plates, alidade, alidade, pin and horse, made by Jamal al-Din ibn Muquin, at Lahore, Pakistan, in 1077 AH (= 1666-7 CE). Inside of mater shows map locating Mecca with qibla of 17 locations. Zoomorphic characters on rete.
Foucault Pendulum for demonstrating the Earth's rotation
Foucault pendulum designed by A.B. Pippard and built at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, including suspension, sustaining mechanism and bob
Replica of refracting telescope by Galileo, 1610
Facsimile of telescope by Galileo, length 4-foot 1 3/4-inches, with a tooled leather tube and magnification of 14, closed complete with lenses. Made by Cipriani and purchased from the Museo di Fisica e Storia Naturale, Florence, Italy in 1923.
Ptolemaic armillary sphere
Armillary sphere on brass twined stand 6 1/2 in diameter at base brass diameter of meridian 9 1/4 inches outside German 16th century
Foucault Pendulum for demonstrating the Earth's rotation, 1883
Brass Foucault pendulum bob and suspension piece made respectively in the Physics Laboratory and Mechanical Laboratory of the Royal College of Science in 1883, with a divided brass arc on a wooden board with lapse time clock indicator dial and wooden bob stand made in the Science Museum workshop, 1928. Set up in a stair well in the Western Galleries [1883-1920s] and then the Science Museum [1920s-1988]
Islamic astrolabe, 1645-1655
Small brass planispheric astrolabe engraved with Arabic script, thought to be Persian, c. 1650, IC 1056 (international checklist).
Plaster relief model of a portion of the Moon
Plaster relief model of a portion of the Moon by James Nasmyth, showing the lunar craters Maurolycus and Barocius.
Orrery planetary model
Brass drum orrery by George Adams, London on claw foot stand with mahogany case. Accessories include detachable tellurium and lunarium wheelwork with planet out to Uranus included.
Brass refracting telescope of 4 1/2 inch aperture
Brass refracting telescope of 4 1/2 inch aperture signed by Dollond, London, c.1860. Altazimuth mount on wooden tripod, complete with original box, 1-inch finder 5 astronomical and 2 terrestrial eyepieces, slow-motion right ascension and declination gearing stabilising rods, brass collar, miscellaneous filters, travelling wire eyepiece micrometer with additional eyepiece and spare wire
Filar micrometer by William Herschel, 1780-1800
Eyepiece micrometer inscribed E.2. in wood mount with brass frame and divided circle 1120 divisions, numbered 0 to 60) and steel screw, threads missing. Focal length 1.65 in
Compendium tablet sun-dial, brass gilt, with three
Compendium tablet sun-dial, brass gilt, with three silvered latitude plates and magnetic compass, signed Christopher Schissler, Augsburg, Germany, dated 1566.
Photograph of the instruments used by the British expedition when observing the 1919 total solar eclipse in Brazil.
Mounted photograph (passe partout) showing the instruments used at Sobral, Brazil, during the total solar eclipse of 1919 May 29. The expedition organised by Sir Arthur Eddington of the Royal Greenwich Observatory used photographs taken during the eclipse to measure the deflection of star light adjacent to the Sun as predicted by Einstein in his Theory of Relativity.
English celestial globe with Sun and Moon arms, 1747
Celestial globe 3-inch on brass stand by Richard Cushee, London, 1747.
Walnut and brass scale model (1:50 approx) of the
Walnut and brass scale model (1:50 approx) of the 'Great Paris Telescope' exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exposition, a stationary 1.25 metre refracting telescope (57 metres long) with a 2 metre mirror siderostat.
Planispheric astrolabe with 3 latitude plates( 39°/ 42°, 48°/51° & 45° with a shadow dial scale on the reverse) and magnetic compass (adjacent to suspension ring), by Ferdinand Arsenius, Antwerp; Flanders; Belgium 1607-1618, [IC 233 - International Checklist]. Fitted with a. The reverse side is engraved with a Gemma Frisius universal projection with rule and pointer, with the alidade fitted to the front face. The womb of the mater (mother) is engraved with a ‘Quadratum Nauticum’ (navigational quadrant) scale.
European celestial globe
Celestial globe (42-inch diameter) on wooden pillar stand by Charles Delagrave, Paris, France, 1878. Thought to be a 19th century copy of a globe by Vincenzo Coronelli, a Venetian map maker and geographer. Cartouche is signed as being delineated by Arnold Deuvez and engraved by J. B. Nolin, 1693. Globe gores may be 18th or 19th century copies.
Orrery planetary model designed by William Pearson, 1813-1822
Mean Motion Orrery with drum case on claw foot stand showing seven planets out to Uranus by Robert Fidler, London. Designed by Rev. William Pearson in 1813 and described in Rees's Encyclopedia.
Brass Islamic planispheric astrolabe of Syrian origin with cursive & Kufic Arabic script, fitted with three latitude plates (28/31°, 36/39 ° & 30/42 ° - later 16th century?), unsigned without date, 901-1100 CE. Latitude plate engraved on mater. Fitted with later hexagonal nut and bolt.
English Moon globe with libration stand
Moon globe 12-inch in diameter, by John Russell, R.A., London, England, 1797. [showing the lunar nearside] on mounting to demonstrate lunar libration. Known as 'Selenographia', the geared apparatus carries a miniature terrestrial globe and moon globe mounted on a brass pillar stand.
MONOPOLY®: Astronomy Edition
Astronomy version of the board game Monopoly, manufactured by USAopoly, United States, 2001. Complete boxed set with all pieces and instructions.
English glass celestial globe, 1739
Glass celestial sphere (72269/57/1), engraved by John Cowley, 1739, with globe stand by Heath & Wing, London. Sphere broken and repaired during 1900s as the cracked and rivetted globe encloses a Newton terrestrial globe with printed gores dated Jan 1st 1897.
Model (scale 1:200) of the Jodrell Bank Lovell Telescope
1957 (original); 1961 (model)
Model (scale 1:200) of Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope.
Gregorian reflecting telescope, 1734-1772
Gregorian reflecting Telescope of 2 3/4 inch aperture by George Adams, London with a shagreen covered tube on an altazimuth mounting with a folding claw foot tripod and wooden case.
Orrery planetary model by James Ferguson, 1755-1756
Wooden pulley Orrery with case by James Ferguson, London to illustrate the motions of the Moon and Earth around the Sun, c.1755.
Kew photoheliograph designed by Warren De la Rue for the Royal Society, London, in 1857 and made by Ross, London. Used for daily photography of the Sun at the Kew Observatory and Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Transported to Rivabellosa in Northern Spain where it was used to photograph the eclipse of the Sun on July 18th 1860. Similar photographs taken by Father Secchi 500 km away showed identical prominences which proved that they were integral to the Sun rather than terrestrial atmospheric effects..
Orrery planetary model
orrery with brass gearwork and paper scale showing eight planets out to Neptune with wooden case by Newton and Company, London, mid 19th century.
Colour print showing three sketches of craters on the Moon
One of two colour engravings (Pl.4) with window mounts showing colour sketches of three captioned lunar craters, Torricelli, Agrippa with Godin and Eratostenes, observed and drawn by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot in 1872.
Parts from the Cambridge Interplanetary Scintillation Array
Parts of the interplanetary scintillation array (also known as the 4-acre array) built at Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge, 1967. Designed by Antony Hewish and used by Jocelyn Bell to detect pulsars. Consists of two wooden vertical supports, one wooden cross support, and a section of copper wire and cables.
Tenmon Bun’ya no zu (map showing divisions of the heavens and regions they govern)
Tenmon Bun’ya no zu (map showing divisions of the heavens and regions they govern) star map with wooden case by Shibukawa Harumi (1639-1715), Japan, 1677. Combines Shibukawa's systematic astronomical observations with concepts from Chinese field-allocation astrology. (see note)
Copernican armillary sphere
Copernican armillary sphere from set of two armillary spheres and a celestial globe constructed in paper on pasteboard with metal fitments supported on a decorative mahogany baluster base. Shows planets out to Uranus, plus four asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Juno & Vesta, first quarter 19th century.
Orrery planetary model by Benjamin Martin, 1738-1777
Small orrery on mahogany stand showing 6 planets out to Saturn by B. Martin, London, mid 18th century.
Orrery planetary model by Thomas Wright, 1718-1747
Orrery showing Sun, Earth & Moon by Thomas Wright, London early 18th century. Modified for display with wooden base (removed) and later separate pulley to drive wheelwork (removed).
Islamic astrolabe, 1605-1606
Brass Arabic planispheric astrolabe with 6 plates and a shadow dial on the reverse by Mustafa Ayyub-i and dated 1014 AH (1605-06 AD), IC 1059 [International Checklist]
European astrolabe, 1295-1305
French planispheric astrolabe with a single plate, a geared lunar vovelle on the front and a shadow dial with an unequal hour scale on the reverse, undated and unsigned,c.1300, IC 198 [international checklist].
Islamic horary quadrant, Persian, 1701-1800
Wooden horary quadrant (25-cm radius) with painted scales and leather case, Islamic script, unsigned, Persia, 1701-1800.
Prototype beam splitter for the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (aLIGO)
Prototype suspension system for Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) gravitational wave detector with dummy metal test masses. Made by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, England, 2007-2008.
Dutch terrestrial globe, 1599
Blaeu terrestrial globe (stand worm eaten, one foot detached)
Uncoloured and uncut printed paper gores for the 'New Celestial Globe'
Uncoloured and uncut printed paper gores for the 'New Celestial Globe' (6-inch?), by Bale and Woodward, England, 1851-1900.
Orrery planetary model
Miniature orrery by Troughton, London with armillary bands and octagonal base, showing three planets including the Earth and Moon with wooden case, late 18th century to early 19th century.
Dutch celestial globe, 1603-1610
Celestial globe, 34 cm in diameter, on wooden four legged stand, by Willem Jansz Blaeu, Amsterdam, with dedication to Tycho Brahe, dated 1603.
Refracting telescope with 5.9-inch aperture lens, brass tube and English type equatorial mounting and clockwork drive
Refracting telescope with 5.9-inch aperture lens by Charles Tully, brass tube and English type equatorial mounting by George Dollond and clockwork drive. Made for Captain W.H.Smyth in 1828, who observed from Bedford and gave the telescope to Dr John Lee of Hartwell House near Stone, Aylesbury. Sold by Lee's executors to Royal Observatory, Greenwich for use in 1874 transit of Venus. Used at the Hong Kong Observatory from 1888 until 1914 when it was returned to Greenwich. Admiral Smyth used this telescope to make his observations for his book, 'A Cycle of Celestial Objects' published in 1844 which was famous throughtout the 19th century. The book was the first guide to the night sky written for a non-specialist and has been much copied since. The instrument incorporates the earliest known clock drive on an English telescope.
Orrery planetary model with gearwork, 1776-1785
Orrery with brass gearwork and paper scale showing four planets out to the Earth, with wooden case, unsigned on plate but Earth globe signed Bardin, London, late 18th century. Printed base scale identical to that used with other similar instruments (see 1979-153 & 1979-154).
Orrery planetary model by Benjamin Martin, 1738-1777
Brass drum orrery on claw foot stand, showing 6 planets out to Saturn by B. Martin, London, mid 18th century