Not just virtual reality: mechanical stuff (& others).

 

When possible, I devote myself to photography, physical models and experiments. Mechanical exhibits are far less requested and more expensive, but equally more fascinating ..

 

Lunarium Tellurium orrery

Clockwork Lunarium–Tellurium. An electric motor drives the diurnal rotation, and from that a gear train distributes the motion to the Moon, to the nutating plane of Moon's orbit, and to the annual revolution of the whole system. I had to cut nearly all gears one by one, since the number of teeth has been calculated for periods optimization. Materials: brass, oak and apple tree wood, iron (where necessary).

The Antikythera Celestial Machine

The Antikythera Celestial Machine: fragments of genius from a legendary science. From graphical project to mechanical model: a page for the complete story.

Geocentric-heliocentric planetary motion:

Geo-heliocentric mechanism of planetary motion: shifting from epicycles around a standing still Earth, to a moving Earth and suppression of epicycles. A unique model to show retrograde motion according to both ideas, on display at the Civico Planetario di Milano entrance hall (.divx video and commented images, 6,6 Mb).

The Sala del Mappamondo at Villa Farnese di Caprarola: panoramic view of an astronomical masterpiece of Italian Renaissance (requires free FlashPlayer plugin).

Observatory dome

Little observatory in Liguria. Wood and fiberglass dome, removable-panels observing slit, with door function. 3 meters diameter (no more functioning).

Observatory dome

As above, opened to show the main instrument. 20 cm. reflector with electric movements. Commercial optics; all the remaining has been self-made. (Note: student-age joint venture with friend Franco Molteni. For viewing the inside I didn't cut the dome, I just rotated it during the exposure).

Fireflies

Fireflies (tele 135mm. F/1.8). Natural light pollution: some fine spring evenings they came into the dome and I had to chase them away during photographic exposures …

Eqinoxes precession machine

Precession machine: the armillary sphere with the Earth is free to rotate along a vertical axis, following the ecliptical plane. The polar axis describes this way the conical motion. Fixed stars are to be added all around (under construction …). About 60 cm. dia.

Uraninite self-radiography

Uranium on film: self-exposure “Becquerel style”. A piece of uraninite (UO2) cut and polished, laid on dia film for 10 days in the darkness. Brightness is not much from uranium itself, but mostly from its by-products, and concentrates along crystal faults and alterations; dark streaks are scratches on the emulsion.

Hale-Bopp comet

Expedition to Val d’Aosta for Hale-Bopp comet, with friend Marco Milani (center, vigilating his Schmidt Camera). Night at 3000 mt. and –8 C, dry and clear! The link points to a photo taken through my 5-lens telephoto 135mm. f./1.8 mounted piggyback; high winds prevented better exposures. On site of Milani you'll find better stuff: some of his photos are in the data base of the Planetarium of Milan.

 


 

 

 

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Mogi

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Nostromics

Nostromics: link to friends' production