Did you know that a ring is capable of calculating the entire cosmological movements? Well, the antiquities that come to the surface often carry a lot of interesting information, like this gold band that unfolds into a weapon ring.
Antique rings: How would it feel to wear the universe on your finger? Sounds fantastically like a period drama? Well, to anyone who looks at the gilded circular thing, it looks like a regular ring, but when unfolded, it becomes a device that can tell about the entire cosmos! Isn’t that interesting? A picture of such a ring has resurfaced on the internet and is blowing everyone’s minds. A 16th century ring that looks like an astronomical sphere that holds the secrets of the universe.
While the ring made headlines again and again, it resurfaced online and was shared on Twitter by a handler called Wholesome Memes, garnering more than 154,000 likes.
— WholesomeMemes (@WholesomeMeme) November 16, 2022
What is an armillary sphere?
16th century German gold ring opening into an armillary sphere enamelled with zodiac signs. Across @historiskamuse. pic.twitter.com/DNik4ZBrwo
— Ephemeral Elegance (@drapedinhistory) September 29, 2021
According to the History of Museum Science, armillary spheres date back to antiquity and were certainly used by the 2nd century astronomer and mathematician Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria. They were mathematical instruments designed to show the movement of the celestial sphere around the stationary Earth at its center.
Smaller armillary spheres like this were usually used for demonstration. Much larger armillary spheres were built for observation and measurement. These would have carried sights placed opposite each other on pairs of rings
The concept of the celestial sphere was fundamental to astronomy from antiquity through the Middle Ages to the early modern period.