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The Globe: A scientific sensation – still today

The walk-in Gottorf Globe is humankind’s first planetarium and therefore has outstanding significance for academia. The simultaneous depiction of the sky and earth - back-to-back - is unique up to the present day.

Whilst the outer side of the sphere showed the entire world cartographically as then known, the inner side reflected the starry skies for the first time true sided as they could be observed from the earth every evening.

The Gottorf Globe came into being during a period when theologians and academics did not agree as to which conception of the world - geocentric or heliocentric - was to be recognised as correct. Interestingly, when constructing the globe, no commitment to either conception of the world was established.

If the visitor takes a look at the rotating globe from outside, a heliocentric world can be assumed, however it is impossible to distinguish inside the globe whether the sky sphere or the bench and therefore the visitor himself is moving.

Independent of the question of allocation to a geocentric or heliocentric conception of the world, important astronomical phenomena can be explained using the globe - for example the day length for any location worldwide and each day in the year, dependent on the status of the sun on the ecliptic.

Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
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