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Galileo Galilei invented the geometric and military compass. It was his first commercial scientific instrument. (Franklin Institute)

Galileo's Instruments of Discovery

With these various instruments, Galileo Galilei was able to look into space and change our view of the universe.

Astrolabe

Galileo astrolabe
(Franklin Institute)

An astrolabe is a portable astronomical calculator that could show how the sky would look when standing at a particular place at a particular time. With one, a person could determine the time of day or night, figure out when the sun would rise and set and find the positions of certain stars. This brass astrolabe dates to about A.D. 832 and corresponds to latitudes between the Black Sea and Persia.

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