Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don't be so Antikythera

A century ago, a team of Greek divers, exploring the coast off the island of Antikythera, discovered a ship wreck which contained part of what is believed to be the oldest known complex scientific calculator, dated to the first century, BC. The top picture is a reconstruction of the entire mechanism. The bottom picture is the main fragment retrieved from the wreck. The mechanism was used as an astronomical clock, wherein a date was entered and the mechanism would calculate the position of the sun, moon, and other planets. It also provided information about the phases of the moon and was used to predict solar eclipses. Learn more about the Antikythera mechanism on this week's show.

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