Antikythera Mechanism

What Does Antikythera Mechanism Mean?

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical analog computer designed specifically to predict and calculate the positions and movements of stars and planets.


It is among the oldest forms of computer, and was designed by Greeks in 86 BC. It was lost some years after its development, but was recovered in early 1900.

Techopedia Explains Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism is a clock-like device that consisted of 30 gears. It was mainly designed to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets and lunar/solar eclipses.

The Antikythera mechanism provided astronomical positions by entering past or present dates. It worked by moving the main crank, which was attached to small and large gears. This is turn set the year on it, where each rotation of the crank is equivalent to 78 days. Although the exact operation of Antikythera mechanism is yet to be understood, the crank movement also moved the internal gears that helped in calculating the position of the moon, sun, calendar dates, cycles and other astronomical objects.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…