Time & Exploration Exhibit - NWCM

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This is an online exhibit of the current National Watch & Clock Museum exhibit: Time & Exploration, Earth, Sea, & Space. This exhibit is open April - December 2009.

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Presentation Transcript

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Sundial Jamestown Sundial, ca. 1610 The sundial fragment, from Structure 165, a workshop, survives as half of the lower portion of an ivory diptych dial. Hour lines from 6 am to noon survive, with digits in Roman numerals and dots denoting hours. The numbers may have been colored red, the lines black. Loan courtesy Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestown, Virginia.

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Archaeologists uncovered the above sundial fragment from a workshop within the walls of the fort at Jamestown, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery

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Compass Gimbaled Compass, ca. 1600 This tiny compass is mounted in a gilt brass gimbal ring with beautiful hand engraved floral designs. It has been mounted in a square brass frame on an ebony box. The glazed compass has a 32-point rose engraved on the brass, with North point fleur-de-lys and cardinal directions in Latin (S, M,OR, OC). There is a needle lifter activated by wing screw below, and a fine arrow head needle sealed to a glass hub with red wax. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia

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Sundial Diptych Sundial, ca. 1650 - 1700 Diptych sundial, made by unknown French maker. Under the needle is a printed list of 22 European towns with their latitudes. The hours run 5 a.m. - 7 p.m. There is an equinoctial dial on the lid, for which the latitude can be adjusted between 10° and 80°. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia

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Chronometer Arnold Pocket Chronometer, ca. 1816 Pocket chronometer with brass movement, spring detent escapement, engraved on top plate "Jn. R. Arnold, London, Inv. et Fecit, No. 1992." White enamel dial reads, "Arnold 1992" and has hours marked in Roman numerals and second-hand dial in Arabic numbers. Plain silver open-faced case. Loan courtesy of the California Academy of Sciences

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Octant Captain G.F. Lyon’s Octant, ca. 1820 Ebony, brass, and ivory octant with set of square, framed lenses and inlaid ivory ruler. This object was used during Captain G. F. Lyon's "Hecla" and "Fury" expedition in search of a Northwest Passage in 1821-1823. "Hecla" was commanded by Lyon. The furthest point on this trip, the perpetually frozen strait between Foxe Basin and the Gulf of Boothia, was named after the two ships: Fury and Hecla Strait. Loan courtesy of the New-York Historical Society

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Clock, Ship's Richard Byrd's Flagship Clock, ca. 1928 Circular clock with heavy cylindrical brass frame with flaring rims; dial with numbers incised and painted in black on brown ground; smaller second-counting dial above central dial. This clock came from the ship "The City of New York," which Admiral Richard Byrd used for his South Pole expedition. Loan courtesy of the New-York Historical Society

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Compass Bumstead Sun Compass, 1933 This is a Bumstead Sun Compass used by Admiral Richard Byrd, during his 2nd Antarctic Flight, 1933–35. It is a cylindrical shaped panel mounted instrument, with white luminous figures on black face. 4 inch diameter, black metal compass with white numerals, glass dome & level. Gift of Albert H. Bumstead. Loan courtesy of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian

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GPS Navigation Device Magellan Maestro 3225, ca. 2009 This device features pre-installed embedded software. Most stand-alone devices are mobile, yet special purpose build devices (e.g. car devices) may be stationary. The software includes interactive street maps (of certain regions) that may also show points of interest, route information, and step-by-step routing directions.

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One side carries a pointed, hour ring marked two times twelve hours in Roman numerals divided into fifteen minutes. This ring carries two index markers, one "GB" for the Great Bear and one marked "LB" for the Lesser Bear. The calendar scale is marked in months and each month is divided into 30 days. The scale of zodiacal houses is marked for thirty days in each house. (The first point of Aries is marked at March 10). Nocturnal Gamaliell Meggison, 1679

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The reverse side carries a calendar scale marked off into 360 days with the first day indicated as March 10. A two times twelve hour scale is marked with roman numerals and is divided into fifteen minutes intervals. A 1-3/4" star volvelle with index pointed and marked for 28 stars (such as "Dogs Thigh", "Whail Tayl", etc.) The volvelle has relative bearings of the stars from the pole and the star's angular distance north or south of the celestial equator. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Gift of Dr. Peter Ifland

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Astrolabe, Mariner's Reproduction, 1998 The scale is divided in whole degrees from 90° to 0° and from 0°to 90° at the top so that the instrument reads zenith distance directly. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Gift of Dr. Peter Ifland

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Sundial Butterfield dial, J. Menard, ca. 1680 Butterfield type sundial, made by J. MENARD of Paris, adjustable for latitudes between 40°-60°, in its original leather case. Compass 30°-30° on either side of N & S and in eight points. Four hour scales, for latitudes 43°, 46°,49° and 52°, in Roman and Arabic numerals. On the back of the instrument there are engraved 16 names of towns with their latitudes in degrees & minutes. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia

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Sundial Butterfield dial, J. Menard, ca. 1680 Reverse

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Quadrant Gunter Quadrant with Nocturnal, ca 1650 Boxwood quadrant with nocturnal. The polar volvelle (nocturnal) is used for determining time, shows five circumpolar constellations: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Cepheus, Draco and Cassiopeia.

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The reverse side has a shadow square numbered from 1 to 10 and a folded astrolabe for locating five stars. One sight missing. The quadrant with planispheric nocturnal was described by Edmund Gunter in 1623 as a "nucturnall for the use of seamen". Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Gift of Dr. Peter Ifland

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Cross-staff Reproduction, 1996 Replica cross-staff, made of ebony, pear wood and ivory/bone, for Harriet Wynter Ltd., London, United Kingdom, 1989. The replica is based on two original Dutch cross-staffs. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia

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Chronometer John Arnold & Son Chronometer, ca. 1785 Ship’s chronometer, made by John ARNOLD & Son of London, no. 3, in its original octagonal wooden box. Red fabric surrounds dial with brass pull to get to workings. Dial face has roman and Arabic numerals and second hand. Brass circle on underside with hole for turning key. Directional arrow in wood nearby. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia

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Chronometer John Arnold & Son Chronometer, ca. 1785

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Chronometer John Arnold & Son Chronometer, ca. 1785

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Beveled scale sextant by Jesse Ramsden, London, No. 1403. (The last recorded Ramsden instrument before he died in 1800 is No.1421). Index arm with clamping screw and fine adjustment screw above the index arm, two lens swing away scale magnifier. Sextant Jesse Ramsden, ca. 1795 Beveled scale divided -5 to 155 in increments of 20 arc minutes, readable with the beveled vernier to 30 arc seconds. Horizon glass adjustable with capstan screws for perpendicularity and index error. Three index and two horizon glass shades. Sighting tube. Screw on handle perpendicular to the frame. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Gift of Dr. Peter Ifland

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Time Cube Realistic, ca. 1980 The time cube receives standard time and frequency signals broadcast from the National Institute of Standards and Technologies Short-Wave stations in Colorado and Hawaii. These signals are used to set clocks to a few hundredths of a second. Realistic Timekube was used to intercept the time signal sent out from Colorado. Accurate knowledge of the time was necessary in order to use a sextant effectively. Loan courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Trevor Hill

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Clock Soyuz Spacecraft Multifunction Clock This analog clock (since replaced by a digital one) is meant for the navigation panel of the Soviet and Russian spacecraft "Soyuz". Just as a correct attitude is paramount to a successful burn, so is its precise timing. This multifunction instrument displays Mission Elapsed Time, the time in Moscow - where the Russian control center is located. It also counts the orbits and other parameters associated with the mission's schedule. Loan courtesy of Mr. François Guay

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Sextant Soyuz Spacecraft Auxiliary Attitude Sextant The sextant seen here was in use in Soviet Union's and Russian's "Soyuz" spacecraft . It is designed to assist through optical observation the rotational maneuvering of the spacecraft prior to a burn - at least in the pitch and roll axis. It is applied over one of the two sideway round viewports in the "descent module", the part of Soyuz where the spacecraft is piloted. Loan courtesy of Mr. François Guay

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The first one was crewed by three cosmonauts in 1964, and the second one featured the first "extra vehicular activity", more commonly known as a space walk, performed by Alexey Leonov in 1965. This Globus is almost identical to the one the first six cosmonauts relied upon on their earlier Vostok ("East") missions, from first man in space Yuri Gagarin in 1961, to Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, the first woman in space. Navigation Device Voskhod Spacecraft, Globus orbit path indicator, c. 1963 This is the main navigation instrument from one of the early Soviet spacecrafts, the "Voskhod" (in Russian, "ascent", or "dawn"). Voskhod flew two record-breaking manned missions.

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Through the whole flight, the globe moves beneath the crosshair, mirroring the apparent movement of the earth under the spacecraft. The current latitude and longitude are displayed above the globe. Initial orbit parameters are preset using the five knobs on the faceplate. All subsequent Soviet and Russian spacecrafts and space stations incorporated improved versions of the same electro-mechanical orbit path indicator, until they were replaced by computer programs in the early 2000's. Loan courtesy of Mr. François Guay

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Sextant Apollo Guidance and Navigation System, ca. 1970 Between December 1968 and December 1972, a total of nine Apollo spacecraft carried human crews away from the Earth to another heavenly body. Primary navigation for these missions was done from the ground. As a backup, and for segments of the mission where ground tracking was not practical, an on-board inertial navigation system was used. Astronauts periodically used a sextant to sight on stars and the horizons of the Earth and Moon to align the inertial system, and to verify the accuracy of the Earth-based tracking data.

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The second was a 28-power sextant, which took the actual reading. Although it did not look like a traditional sextant, it operated in a similar manner. The astronaut sighted on two heavenly bodies: two stars, or a star and the horizon of the Earth or Moon, adjusted the optics until they were aligned over one another, and then pressed a button marking the instrument’s reading and the time. The sextant fulfilled the need for a device to aid the alignment and bound the drift of the inertial system. The instrument consisted of two telescopes. The first was a one-power, wide-field scanning telescope, which was used to locate a star or constellation in space.

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One of the axes of the telescopes was fixed, so that the process of finding the Earth or Moon typically consisted of orienting the entire spacecraft around until that body came into the field of view. Once a reading was taken, the on-board Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) computed the spacecraft’s position, based on those readings and data stored in its memory. Loan courtesy of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian

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Booklet, Instruction Launch Mission Rules for Apollo 11, ca. 1969 Original NASA manual contains full mission rules for Apollo 11. This copy was issued to Grumman (manufacturer of the LEM) and has a Grumman cover. This is a massive 4 lb, 2 inch thick volume. Each page is dated as of update status and almost all are dated either June 2, 1969; June 20, 1969; or June 26, 1969. In addition to the very complete and specific itemized Mission Launch Rules, it details communication, aborts, redlines, crew equip and most systems and operations; extensive CSM 107 and LM-5 sections; charts & ids of individual switches, tanks, electrical items, and operation, environmental control, propulsion, crew duties, and activities and operational procedures. Loan Courtesy of Mr. David Meerman Scott

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Computer, Hybrid Rope Memory Module for the Apollo Guidance and Navigation, ca. 1970 This is a rare rope memory module made for the Block I (before the Apollo 1 fire) Model 100 Apollo Guidance and Navigation Computer. The computers that formed the basis of the Apollo Guidance and Navigation System (AGNS) were at the cutting edge of technology in the 1960s. They were the first to use the integrated circuit technology that subsequently gave us desktop computers and so many of the consumer electronic products that fill our lives today. Each computer had two types of memory, erasable and fixed. The fixed memory contained the programs, constants and landmark coordinates using 36,864 terms or words, each of 15 bits length. That came to a grand total of 74 kilobytes of memory. The module is labeled: C P ASSY 1031103 NO. 1003733-011, MFG BY RAYTHEON CO., SERIAL NO. RAY 4 Loan Courtesy of Mr. David Meerman Scott

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Loan courtesy of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian

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Wristwatch Shuttle Endeavor Wristwatch, ca. 1999 This watch was worn by Mission Specialist Gerhard P.J. Thiele during NASA Space Shuttle Mission STS.99, February 11-22, 2000. Selfwinding, 25 jewel, chronograph in a stainless steel case, with a sapphire crystal. Case back marked "Towson Watch Company, 5 ATM, Nr. 001". Case back witih clear insert so movement can be seen. The winding weight is marked "TWC" in gold leaf. Crown at 3, and function buttons at 2 and 4. Black leather band marked "TWC, Towson/MD, Handmade". Gift of the Towson Watch Company

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Wristwatch Shuttle Endeavor Wristwatch, ca. 1999

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Chronograph Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 Wristwatch, ca. 1969 Apollo 9 was the first manned flight of all lunar hardware in Earth orbit. Schweickart performed 37 minutes Extravehicular Activity. (space walk) Human reactions to space and weightlessness tested in 152 orbits. First manned flight of lunar module. Loan courtesy of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian

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Astronaut Rusty Schweickart performing his 37 minute Extravehicular Activity (space walk) while wearing his Omega Speedmaster Chronograph wristwatch

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Clock, Shelf The Hamilton Space Clock or Mars Clock, ca. 1955 Paper dial marked "Hamilton Space Clock, Mars, Manufactured by Hamilton Watch Company". The numbers around the face indicate Mars time, and the three subsidiary dials show Martian date, earth time and earth date. For more information see the NAWCC Bulletin, August 1995, page 488. Gift of Dr. Robert L. Ravel

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Basalt NASA Lunar Sample, Mare Basalt Touchstone This Apollo 17 Lunar Sample (Moon rock) was collected by Astronaut Jack Schmitt near the Lunar Module landing site. This rock weighs 120 grams. It is a fragment of the original rock which weighed 8,110 grams when returned to Earth. The sample is a mare basalt. This rock, like all mare basalts, is very old, about 3,750,000,000 years, older than 99.99% of all Earth surface rocks. Scientific research is being conducted on the balance of this sample at NASA's Johnson Space Center and other research centers in the United States and certain foreign nations under a continuing program of investigation involving lunar samples collected during the Apollo Program. Loan courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center