View Full Version : Wife, The Universe & Everything

19th Apr 2006, 16:16
My wife asked me a question and as I went to answer it I realised I had forgotten. I hope the hallowed halls of JB will assist me in satisfying her?
At school we used to have a fantastic bit of kit that showed all the planets in their respective solar system position. When you turned a handle they would all orbit around the sun with their speeds being relevant to their orbital distances.
What was said piece of kit called and can they be purchaed still?

19th Apr 2006, 16:19
It's called an Orrery.

You mean like this thing:


As to buying one.........perhaps eBay? I've just checked. Nothing really there.

(Sorry, big pic)

None of the above
19th Apr 2006, 16:24
Do a Google for 'Orrery'. Plenty there and would post a couple of links but don't want to fall foul of the 'no advertising' rules.
Great bit of kit, though.

19th Apr 2006, 16:32
Pedant mode on:

Using the distance from the Sun to the Earth on that scale, Jupiter would be hundreds of yards further away and Pluto for example would actually be at least a couple of miles.

Pedant mode off.

19th Apr 2006, 16:35
Thanks guys, now I can satisfy the wife again. Oh! By the way, Strafer - We had a big school:O

Onan the Clumsy
19th Apr 2006, 17:00
(Sorry, big pic)Well it'd have to be to fit the entire Solar System...

Big School? I went to a good school, in fact it was so good, it was approved :}

19th Apr 2006, 17:26
Thanks guys, now I can satisfy the wife again.

I might incriminate myself.

19th Apr 2006, 17:26
The pic above wan't big enough for fit Uranus


19th Apr 2006, 18:03
now I can satisfy the wife again.
So, if you use an orrery on a woman, does the Earth move?

Bern Oulli
19th Apr 2006, 21:28
When I was a little Oulli, my father made one from the huge Meccano set he had (and which I now have). Earth as I remember was a small globe/pencil sharpener! Electrically driven by a very early Meccano motor it made one hell of a noise when operating. So much for "the music of the spheres"!

19th Apr 2006, 21:32
This is a nice one! (http://www.conran-restaurants.co.uk/restaurants/orrery/)


19th Apr 2006, 22:55
My wife asked me a question and as I went to answer it I realised I had forgotten.
Happens to all of us. Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and ask her to repeat the question. Alternatively just answer 'Yes', 'No', or 'Maybe' or anything else that comes into your mind such as 'That'll be nice dear', though the latter can be dangerous . . .

tony draper
19th Apr 2006, 23:16
You will find modern ones with flashy light computer read out and such for sale in suppliers of items Asrtonomical,telescopes lenses globes ect,one was tempted to buy one once then thunk, WTF for?,one already knows were the planets are in relation to each other, and the novelty of watching little balls rotating around eah other would quickly pale.

20th Apr 2006, 01:54
I think you'd need really long arms to turn the crank on that thing and avoid getting rapped up the side of the head by one of the outer moons of Saturn. :ooh:

Arm out the window
20th Apr 2006, 04:24
Whoever thought up the name 'orrery' mustn't have been too concerned about how it'd sound when spoken aloud - 'orrible!

Bad enough for us native born English speakers, let alone someone from Japan, say. Must try it out on Taka from work, see how he goes with it.

Loose rivets
20th Apr 2006, 04:30
The reason for its name, is somewhat surprising. http://www.augk18.dsl.pipex.com/Smileys/shine.gif

20th Apr 2006, 05:27
Whoever thought up the name 'orrery'
I'm betting on a Chinese bloke.

Just sounds Chinese. :}

"Yoo wan flied oh boiw lice wid yo orrery?"

20th Apr 2006, 05:32
OK, forget the Chinese idea.....

Why's It Called an "Orrery"?

For decades I, and I suspect many other folks whose fondest childhood memories include pressing the button on the clockwork orrery at the science museum until their fingers turned blue waiting for all the planets to line up--just another half-hour, Mom!--believed the word orrery to be etymologically derived from orbit: after all, that's what it demonstrates! In fact, mechanical models of the solar system, invented c. 1700 by George Graham, have been called orreries ever since the English instrument maker John Rowley named a copy he made of Graham's machine "The Orrery" in honour of Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery.

All we need to do now is find out what etymologically means.....:uhoh:

*Yawn* :zzz:

20th Apr 2006, 07:50
Mon trusty dictionaire describes the eponymous Earl of Orrery, c. early 1700s or so, for whom one was made.
There ya go, acbus, kudos to yers for being first in and right.
So, you can blame the French. It's alright. I asked. ;) :p

Oi! S/one's already put up a link. S'not fair, stealing one's thunder. Roit, wassit say, 'en? Oh, it's norra link, merely underlined. S'alright, 'en. :rolleyes:

That's the second time this week I've used "eponymous" in a acksherl sentence. I'm rather chuffed.

20th Apr 2006, 12:37
Must try it out on Taka from work, see how he goes with it.

While you're at it, try him with 'Philippa Forrester' too.

20th Apr 2006, 14:01
You could take the missus to the first Planetarium (http://www.planetarium-friesland.nl/Planetariumfolder.pdf) in the world.

Built by Eise Eisinga in the 18th century to tell the people that the planets would not collide with each other.

20th Apr 2006, 15:53
first Planetarium (http://www.planetarium-friesland.nl/Planetariumfolder.pdf) in the world.Link's all in Krautese - canna unnerstand a word of it :{

(and after trying the Kraut joke on Babel Fish, I ain't gonna bother - even the Galactoid Babel Fish canna handle Krautese!)

20th Apr 2006, 16:18
You could try scrolling down to the ENGLISH section.

There's also another funny looking language next to it. That's called 'French'.

Noah Zark.
20th Apr 2006, 16:28
While you're at it, try him with 'Philippa Forrester' too.

Can I try me with Phillipa Forrester first, please? :}