Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
    • Setting:
      Room XI
    • Inventor:
      James Ferguson
    • Maker:
    • Place:
    • Date:
    • Materials:
      wood, glass, brass
    • Dimensions:
      brass disk diameter 390 mm, height 285 mm, width 460 mm
    • Inventory:
    • Orrery (Inv. 581)
    • Orrery (Inv. 581)

This Copernican planetarium was built at the workshop of the Museo di Fisica e Storia Naturale of Florence from the model designed by James Ferguson in 1773. It is one of the first examples of the mechanical planetarium known as orrery, after Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, whom Ferguson himself describes as the inventor. Thanks to a mechanical system, each planet of the solar system moves in its orbit at its own velocity. The Sun, at the center, is surrounded by Mercury, Venus, and the Earth orbited by the Moon. The superior planets are missing. Provenance: Lorraine collections.