A nocturnal is an instrument used to determine the local time based on the relative positions of two or more stars in the night sky. Sometimes called a "horologium nocturnum" (time instrument for night) or nocturlabe (in French and occasionally used by English writers), it is related to the astrolabe and sun dial. Knowing the time is important in piloting for calculating tides and some nocturnals incorporate tide charts for important ports.
Nocturnal appeared at the beginning of the 16th century and began to disappear in the 18th century, coinciding with the development of mechanical clocks.
The nocturnal is made of three concentric brass disks, which can turn freely with respect to each other
around a central ring. Superimposed over these three disks is a rule or index arm which extends past the edge of the largest disc and which can turn freely over the ring.
Dimensions of the nocturnal body : height 18 cm
length 19 cm
width 0,5 cm
Dimensions of the wooden base: height 2,5 cm
length 8 cm
width 6 cm
3-5 business days
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