Category:Beijing 1439 armillary sphere

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English: An armillary sphere in Beijing Ancient Observatory. It is a replica of the device made in 1439 for the purpose of determining coordinates of celestial bodies, originaly kept in Beijing, and moved to the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing in 1933. Both an astronomical instrument and a magnificent piece of art, it is a round sphere positioned above a square base (in the spirit of the traditional Chinese world model, 天圆地方 - Round heaven and square earth!), it stands on a tortoise (reminding one, perhaps, of the Ao (鰲) turtle whose legs hold the sky in Nüwa's story!), and is supported from the 4 corners by dragons.

(Actually, there are two failry similar armillary spheres in the observatory: one sits on the grass, the other, on stone pavement. The photos should be sorted out...)

A replica of the armillary sphere can be found in Beijing Capital Airport: see Category:Armillary sphere, Beijing Capital International Airport