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originally posted by: Hanslune
First off I don't have the math(s) ability to answer this question myself so if I could call upon the many gifted posters here to answer it.
One see's claims that the ancient knew the orbits of the inner (and outer) planets.
So what instruments, mathematics and skills would be required to obtain that information? The Europeans and others seemed to have worked on this problem for centuries until they resolved it.
So having placed the question I back away and hope that those more gifted by Saint Hubertus can answer it.
The torquetum's value, as an analogue calculator, must have been immense, because, once a planet or the Moon are not on the meridian, all "straight lines" become curves—so that calculations are difficult, even with a modern calculator. However, the 23.5-degree plane on the torquetum allows one to directly read the longitude and latitude of a planet or the Moon, relative to the ecliptic, without calculation. These data would be invaluable for predicting eclipses and occultations of various stars or planets by the Moon.
The torquetum or turquet is a medieval astronomical instrument designed to take and convert measurements made in three sets of coordinates: Horizon, equatorial, and ecliptic. In a sense, the Torquetum is an analog computer.
The first torquetum is thought to have been built by Jabir ibn Aflah (Geber) in the 12th century or 13th century, though the only surviving examples date from the 16th century.
originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: punkinworks10
I'd like to add , though the ancient Greeks could predict eclipses, and the Mayans knew the orbital period of Venus and the Egyptians observed the precession of the earth, none of these cultures knew of or could describe motions of the planets, simply for one reason, they had no understanding of gravity.
originally posted by: deadeyedick
as above so below perhaps the watchers?lol
it would be the same as watching your neighbor build a house.
I will definitly in explaination due to yrs of programming we went through recently.
Let's say you were a helper for a swiss watch maker and decided to write down the process. You would be very accurate but let's say that today someone just out of school decided to open up a swiss watch and then tried to explain how it works from scratch.
Investigations by Freeth and Jones reveal that their simulated mechanism is not particularly accurate, the Mars pointer being up to 38° off at times. This is not due to inaccuracies in gearing ratios or such in the mechanism, but rather to inadequacies in the Greek theory at that point in time. This could not have been improved until first Ptolemy introduced the equant in about 150 AD, and then when Johannes Kepler changed orbits to ellipses and broke from the concept of uniform motion and circular orbits in 1609 AD.
In short, the Antikythera Mechanism was a machine designed to predict celestial phenomena according to the sophisticated astronomical theories current in its day, the sole witness to a lost history of brilliant engineering, a conception of pure genius, one of the great wonders of the ancient world—but it didn’t really work very well!
In addition to theoretical accuracy, there is the matter of mechanical accuracy. Freeth and Jones note that the inevitable "looseness" in the mechanism due to the hand-built gears with their triangular teeth and the frictions between gears and in bearing surfaces would have probably swamped the finer solar and lunar correction mechanisms built into it:
Though the engineering was remarkable for its era, recent research indicates that its design conception exceeded the engineering precision of its manufacture by a wide margin—with considerable accumulative inaccuracies in the gear trains, which would have cancelled out many of the subtle anomaly corrections built into its design.