|Prague Astronomical Clock|
When viewing the Astronomical Clock we can see time on four different scales:
- Old Czech (Italian) Time: Marked on the outer "24-ring", a new day is counted by the setting of the sun.
- German (Local) Time: Marked by roman numerals on a disk inside that of the outer ring.
- Planetary Time: Measured from the rising to the setting of the sun, used in astrology.
- Sidereal Time: Shows current position of star field above, indicated by a star on a zodiac ring.
- The height of the sun and the moon above the horizon is shown throughout the year.
- The rising and setting of the sun and moon are shown, as well as the current phase of the moon.
- Astronomical night is indicated (when the sun dips 18 degrees below the horizon).
- A number of carved wooden figures stand aside the clock. When the clock hits the top of the hour and the bells chime, the figures animate and move - the most interesting of these is the skeleton which pulls the rope that chimes a bell and he (she?) turns an hourglass over, a symbol of the passing of time.
- Also at the top of the hour when the clock chimes two shutters above the clock open and figures of the twelve apostles appear in the windows briefly.
It was enlightening to discover what our ancestors were capable of without the use of modern computers and technology!