astrolabe

Science Dictionary
astrolabe   (ās'trə-lāb')  Pronunciation Key 
An ancient instrument used widely in medieval times by navigators and astronomers to determine latitude, longitude, and time of day. The device employed a disk with 360 degrees marked on its circumference. Users took readings from an indicator that pivoted around the center of the suspended device like the hand of a clock. The astrolabe was replaced by the sextant in the 18th century.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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