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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n astrolabe an early form of sextant
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Astrolabe A stereographic projection of the sphere on the plane of a great circle, as the equator, or a meridian; a planisphere.
    • Astrolabe (Astron) An instrument for observing or showing the positions of the stars. It is now disused.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n astrolabe An obsolete astronomical instrument of different forms, used for taking the altitude of the sun or stars, and for the solution of other problems in astronomy. The name was applied to any instrument with a graduated circle or circles, but more especially to one intended to be held in the hand. Some astrolabes were armillary spheres of complicated construction, while others were planispheres intended to measure the altitude only. One of the most important uses of the astrolabe was in navigation, for which it was superseded by Hadley's quadrant and sextant.
    • n astrolabe A stereographic projection of the sphere, either upon the plane of the equator, the eye being supposed to be in the pole of the world, or upon the plane of the meridian, the eye being in the point of intersection of the equinoctial and the horizon.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Astrolabe as′trō-lāb an instrument for measuring the altitudes of the sun or stars, now superseded by Hadley's quadrant and sextant.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. astrolabie, astrilabe, OF. astrelabe, F. astrolabe, LL. astrolabium, fr. Gr. 'astrola`bon; 'a`stron star +,, to take
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr.; astron, a star, labb-, lambano, I take.


In literature:

Dumont d'Urville, commander of the Astrolabe, had then sailed, and two months after Dillon had left Vanikoro he put into Hobart Town.
"Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" by Jules Verne
This man used words as a master mariner would use compass and astrolabe.
"Days of the Discoverers" by L. Lamprey
His prose, like his verse, his "Treatise on the Astrolabe" like his tales, are in English.
"A Literary History of the English People" by Jean Jules Jusserand
As Quadrantes, The Astronomers Ryng, The Astronomers staffe, The Astrolabe vniuersall.
"The Mathematicall Praeface to Elements of Geometrie of Euclid of Megara" by John Dee
You were only two days' sail to there from Astrolabe Reefs.
"Rídan The Devil And Other Stories" by Louis Becke
A sextant and astrolabe were brought him from France, of whose use no one could inform him, though he asked all whom he met.
"Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
The upright part of an astrolabe.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
At the end of one of the yew walks was a rusty astrolabe on a moss-grown marble pedestal, and by this he found her.
"In Brief Authority" by F. Anstey
Many medieval astrolabes have survived, and at least three medieval equatoria are known.
"On the Origin of Clockwork, Perpetual Motion Devices, and the Compass" by Derek J. de Solla Price
There were also astrolabes and dioptras.
"History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2)" by John William Draper
Voyage de l'Astrolabe, 1834.
"A Monograph on the Sub-class Cirripedia (Volume 1 of 2)" by Charles Darwin
That was the last view of the interior of the Palace, the empty court, and the swinging, sighing astrolabe.
"From Sea to Sea" by Rudyard Kipling
They applied the astrolabe to marine use, and constructed tables.
"History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume II (of 2)" by John William Draper
ASTROLABE BAY, an inlet on the N.E.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 2" by Various
The principle of the astrolabe is explained in fig.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 7" by Various
Could those be some sort of Persian astrolabe, like navigators use to estimate latitude by fixing the elevation of the sun or stars?
"The Moghul" by Thomas Hoover
Besides these apparatus, she was likewise the inventor of an astrolabe and a planisphere.
"Woman in Science" by John Augustine Zahm
These were the quadrant and astrolabe, as known to all.
"The Letters of Amerigo Vespucci" by Amerigo Vespucci
First the sun's altitude is found by means of the revolving rule at the back of the astrolabe.
"Astronomical Lore in Chaucer" by Florence M. Grimm
The Portuguese first made that possible by using astronomical observations and inventing the quadrant and the astrolabe.
"The South American Republics Part I of II" by Thomas C. Dawson

In news:

It ran aground in October on the Astrolabe Reef in Tauranga, New Zealand.
The container ship Rena sits in two pieces on Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga.
A diving group will tomorrow make a renewed call for the stricken cargo ship Rena to remain on Astrolabe Reef as an underwater tourist attraction.
Step aboard the deck of a ship and try your hand at steering, look through the telescope at a distant harpooner battling a whale, or marvel at the mystery of the gold astrolabe.

In science:

No, the method in general is not new, but it did seem to blossom in the literature this year. (3) And what Badacke-Damijni and Roselot (2006) describe as a modern astrolabe.
Astrophysics in 2006
The astrolabe, of course, but also the nocturnal, armillary spheres, cross staff, quadrant, dioptra, and (on p. 193) that funny-looking star-burst on a stick that old astronomers (we mean 15th century or something, not ourselves) are sometimes shown holding.
Astrophysics in 2006
One of the instruments used was called ”Merkhet,” (similar to an astrolabe), which could mean ”indicator.” It consisted of a horizontal, narrow wooden bar with a hole near one end, through which the astronomer would look to fix the position of the star.
Senenmut: An Ancient Egyptian Astronomer