Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Orrery Inspiration

Just before I put up the instructions, I'd like to put up a list of other orrerys that I used as inspiration when designing my orrery. If you're thinking of making one, these are some good examples to check out first. They are all very different approaches. If you want to know what an orrery is, that's probably best answered by wikipedia.

First we have the site of Brian Greig, Orrery Maker. There is every astronomical device under the sun here. These are just incredible, works of art, it's just a shame he doesn't have more pictures.

Next there's the wooden orrery by David Goodchild. Amazingly he cuts all his own gears out of wood.

Just to top that, Eugene Sargent casts his own gears out of bronze!

Finally there's the large Ferguson's Orrery by Roy Mallett, featured at this site. The style of this particular orrery was the main inspiration for my own, with the 12 sided wooden box and general shape. It even has the axial tilt of the moon, which I didn't include.

There is also this part work magazine orrery which seems to be fairly popular, and looks quite good. My only reservation is that, being a pay per edition, they put in the Asteroid Ceres and all the outer planets including Ares. Seems like overkill to me.

Update: I have found a site by Phil Sydor that has links to several antique orreries and information about the Antikythera mechanism, possibly the earliest known orrery (depending on whether or not you count stone henge).

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