Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Orrery

Orrery

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system. The name derives from Charles Boyle, the fourth Earl of Orrery, for whom John Rowley in London made a model of the earth and moon orbiting the sun around 1713.
This elegant example shows the Sun and eight planets. It was thus made after the discovery of Neptune in 1846 and, was probably made before the discovery of Pluto in 1930.
Object Name
orrery
Physical Description
brass, nickel-plated (overall material)
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 65 cm x 64 cm x 28 cm; 25 9/16 in x 25 3/16 in x 11 in
overall: 25 1/8 in x 28 1/4 in x 10 13/16 in; 63.8175 cm x 71.755 cm x 27.46375 cm
ID Number
1980.0318.04
accession number
1980.0318
catalog number
1980.0318.04
Credit Line
Gift of Vassar College
subject
Astronomy
Education
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object