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Travel Bug Dog Tag Faber Optimé - Stella

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Monday, February 25, 2008
North Island, New Zealand
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Current GOAL

Star movements.

In keeping with the astrolabe, this Travel Bug wants to be seen by as many stars as possible – both heavenly and in person!

About This Item


About the Astrolabe

The Astrolabe was the mathematical jewel of the Middle Ages and was to the end of the 17th century the most used instrument in the history of Astronomy.

It allows us to understand, in a clear and simply way, the celestial mechanism and the apparent movement of the stars.

Its origin could be far back as Alexandria, (c9th century). It was brought to perfection by the Arabs and Persians, who brought it into Spain at the start of the 10th century.

It comprises a hollowed disc called the mater, in which sits one or more tympans (this astrolabe has a permanent, fixed tympan). A tympan is made for a specific latitude and is engraved with a stereographic projection of circular lines of equal azimuth and altitude representing the portion of the celestial sphere above the local horizon.

The rim of the mater is graduated into hours of time. Above the mater and tympan is the rete, a framework bearing a projection of the ecliptic plane (surrounded by the signs of the Zodiac) and several pointers indicating the positions of the brightest stars (the curved protrusions), which is free to rotate.

The rete represents the sky and has the function of a star chart. When it is rotated, the stars and the ecliptic move over the projection of the coordinates on the tympan. A complete rotation represents the passage of one day.

This astrolabe also has a narrow ruler that rotates over the rete, marked with a scale of declinations.

On the back of the mater there are a number of scales used to assist in the astrolabe's various applications, which vary from design to design. This one has a calendar for converting the day of the months of the year to the sun's position on the ecliptic, trigonometric scale.

The alidade is attached to the back face. When the astrolabe is held vertically, the alidade can be rotated and a star sighted along its length, so that the star's altitude in degrees can be read ("taken") from the graduated edge of the astrolabe – hence "astro" = star + "labe" = to take.

Using the Astrolabe

  1. Line up the alidade with the current month and day of month.
  2. Note the respective Zodiac sign (and position within Zodiac segment).
  3. With midnight shown at top, align the ruler with the current time (e.g. half way between one and two for 1:30).
  4. Move the rete so that the Zodiac sign/position noted from (2) aligns with the ruler.

The positions of the stars in the sky results (since this astrolabe has a fixed tympan, universal, accurate usage is not possible).

Travel Bug Challenge

This particular astrolabe can be used to solve 43 astronomic/mathematic problems. Your challenge is to find a (new) one of these and log it!


Travel Bugs need maintenance from time to time (as do we all?!). If this one looks in need (or if you would like to know how to make your own capsule), please take a look at the Faber Optimé Travel Bug Maintenance Manual.

A PDF file of the custom stash note for this travel bug can be obtained here.

About Faber Optimé

Faber Optimé We aim to deliver excellence, in all of our activities - such as bringing to you curious, interesting and innovative geocaches and geocache items, like this one.

Keep your eyes peeled for more of the Faber Optimé Travel Bugs!

We're always happy to help fellow geocachers! :-) Please do feel free to get in touch with us on the following contact details.

GeoUser:  FaberOptimé
Mobile:  +64 21 184 6246
Faber Optimé defined.

Gallery Images related to Faber Optimé - Stella

View All 9 Gallery Images

Tracking History (17307.8mi) View Map

Write note 4/5/2014 Die Repker posted a note for it   Visit Log

Nicht gesehen heute in Cache

Write note 3/20/2014 baerbel0908 posted a note for it   Visit Log

Not seen in the cache. Sorry.

Write note 2/22/2014 Wildeaue posted a note for it   Visit Log

Hello from Germany,
I´m sorry but your TB wasn´t in this Cache.
Regards, Wildeaue

Dropped Off 12/29/2013 Rockabilly22 placed it in TB- und Coin-Hotel Witten-Stockum Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - 5.53 miles  Visit Log
Visited 12/29/2013 Rockabilly22 took it to Weißes Döschen im Wäldchen -WD9- Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - .2 miles  Visit Log
Visited 12/29/2013 Rockabilly22 took it to Weißes Döschen unter Strom -WD8- Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - 1.7 miles  Visit Log
Retrieve It from a Cache 12/6/2013 Rockabilly22 retrieved it from nichtraucher1981´s Nano Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany   Visit Log

Today we found this TB and we thought it was beautiful and we just had to take it! :)

Discovered It 12/4/2013 OnkelManni+V discovered it   Visit Log

Heute In nichtraucher1981´s Nano gesehen.
Viele Grüße

Dropped Off 12/2/2013 Yami1900 placed it in nichtraucher1981´s Nano Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - 3.67 miles  Visit Log
Visited 12/2/2013 Yami1900 took it to Weißes Döschen bei Linie 379 -WD5- Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - 14.25 miles  Visit Log
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