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James Ferguson, Planetarium orrery


James Ferguson (1710-1776)
Planetarium orrery, ca. 1760
London, Science Museum, inv. 1934-134

Made almost entirely of wood, this orrery is driven by strips of rope passing through winches. It shows the Earth's yearly revolution around the Sun, the oscillation of the Moon's orbit, the phases of the Moon and the movement of the lunar apogee. The circles around the Earth are calibrated to show the signs of the zodiac and the position of the Moon's nodes.