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Antikythera Mechanism yields some secrets

The Houston Chronicle has posted an interesting interview with Mike Edmonds, the project director for the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project.

Q: Can you describe the mechanism?

A: Imagine something the size of a shoe box. … There’s a circular dial representing the zodiac signs with pointers for the position of the sun and moon. Also, probably – this part is missing, but inscriptions refer to it – two huge dials.

Q: The purpose?

A: The top one, in the form of a five-turn spiral, would track the metonic cycles over a 19-year period. It was a useful calendar for determining when the full moon would come back. The bottom dial predicted possible eclipses of the sun and moon.

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Story: Allan Turner, Houston Chronicle | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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