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.
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
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
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
Islamic astrolabe, 1645-1655
Small brass planispheric astrolabe engraved with Arabic script, thought to be Persian, c. 1650, IC 1056 (international checklist).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
French Clock with orrery planetary model and winding keys
Orrery Clock and 2 winding keys 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Hindu planispheric astrolabe in copper [brass?], single plate, made for Raja Ramasimha by Sivalala in 1870. Engraved in Sanskrit with instrument laid out for the latitude of Bundi (25º 28'), Rajasthan, India. Alidade at rear missing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photograph of the Great Nebula in Orion, 1883
One of eleven photographs, taken by Andrew Ainslie Common of the Orion Nebula (M42) using a 36-inch reflecting telescope with a silver-on-glass mirror in the garden at his home in Ealing, London. Taken with an exposure of 60 minutes on February 26th 1883.
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.
Norman Lockyer’s seven-prism spectroscope and eyepiece
Astronomical spectroscope from Norman Lockyer Observatory, brass, with train of seven prisms and eyepiece.
MONOPOLY®: Astronomy Edition
Astronomy version of the board game Monopoly, manufactured by USAopoly, United States, 2001. Complete boxed set with all pieces and instructions.
Mirror for the Great Rosse Telescope, 1844-1846
Six-foot speculum [metal] mirror on travelling carriage from the Great Rosse Telescope, the 'Leviathan of Parsonstown', built by the Third Earl of Rosse at Birr, Ireland, 1844-46.
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.
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).
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)
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.
Nasmyth reflecting telescope on turntable stand, 1850-1852
Reflecting telescope, 20-inch aperture with speculum mirror and altazimuth mounting, by James Nasmyth at Patricroft, Manchester, England, 1850-1852. Later the instrument was moved to ‘Hammerhurst’, Nasmyth’s new home at Penshurst, Kent, when he retired from industry in 1856. (see note)
Glass positive photograph of total solar eclipse
Photograph of the Corona taken at the total Solar Eclipse 1919 May 29 at Sobral, Brazil, with a telescope 4 inches aperture 19 feet focal length, glass positive (10" x 12"). 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.
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
Hadley's Gregorian reflecting telescope, c.1740
Gregorian reflecting telescope, said to have made by John Hadley in 1726, although stylistic features would suggest a later date of c.1740. The telescope has a 2-inch metal speculum mirror with a focal length of 14 inches and a sharkskin covered brass tube with metal case.
Mechanical lantern slide of the Solar System
Mechanical planetarium slide for magic lantern
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].
Lunar crater model
Plaster relief model, of a portion of the Moon's surface by James Nasmyth, showing the craters of the Archimedes, Autolycas and Austullus along with Apennine mountains.
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 celestial globe with Sun and Moon arms, 1747
Celestial globe 3-inch on brass stand by Richard Cushee, London, 1747.
Belgium Mars globe, 1892
Mars globe, 4-inch in diameter prepared by L. Niesten from observations made at Brussel from 1877, with gores published by Lebeque & Co., 1892. Presented to the Royal Astronomical Society c. 1903-10 by Louis Niesten (RAS No.135b).
Model (scale 1:200) of the Jodrell Bank Lovell Telescope
1957 (original); 1961 (model)
Model (scale 1:200) of Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope.
Newtonian reflecting telescope, 1795-1816
Newtonian reflecting telescope with 6-inch diameter speculum mirror of 7-foot focal length with black painted deal tube and altazimuth stand plus accessories
American refracting telescope, 1870-1880
Refracting telescope of 4 1/8-inch aperture by Alvan Clark and Sons, Cambridge, Massachusetts, mahogany tube with finder telescope, brass on iron equatorial mounting and wooden tripod plus accessories.