Friday, August 1, 2008

The Antikythera Mechanism and the Olympics


Researchers have finally figured out (some of) what the mysterious Antikythera Mechanism does. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in The Lost Ring...

The world's first known scientific instrument plotted the positions of celestial bodies nineteen years into the future -- and as an added bonus, it kept track of upcoming Olympics.

"The maker took information about astronomical theories, and made a machine that could predict the future," said Tony Freeth, co-author of a study to be published in Nature this week. "And it would tell you, as a bit of an add-on, what Olympic games would be in progress at the time."

A dictionary-size assemblage of 37 interlocking dials crafted with the precision and complexity of a 19th century Swiss clock, the machine was recovered in 1900 from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Scientists dated it to 150 BC. (wired)

No comments: