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cercle astronomique

English translation: quadrant

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11:30 Nov 24, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Ships, Sailing, Maritime / navigational tools
French term or phrase: cercle astronomique
"Et sur ce site fonctionnait un observatoire puisqu'un fragment de grand quart de cercle astronomique y a été trouvé."

The text concerns an archeological dig around a shipwreck from the late 18th century. In other parts of the text, they talk about a "cercle de réflexion" or a reflecting circle, but I believe they're refering to a different instrument here.
I think it may just be an astrological circle, but that's not a very well documented translation.
Kate Davis
France
Local time: 03:56
English translation:quadrant
Explanation:
An instrument for taking angular measurements of altitude (formerly esp. in astronomy and navigation), usu. consisting of a graduated quarter-circle and a sighting mechanism. LME.
OED

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Note added at 4 mins (2008-11-24 11:34:58 GMT)
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quart de cercle, quart-de-cercle
mar., nav. ,,
Instrument ancien de l'astronomie de position, dans lequel une lunette de visée est mobile dans un plan vertical, et accolée à un grand quart de cercle fixe divisé très finement sur lequel on lit les rotations de la lunette`` (MULLER 1980). Synon. quadrant.
TLF

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Note added at 1 hr (2008-11-24 12:38:18 GMT)
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cf.

octant
An instrument in the form of a graduated eighth of a circle, used for making angular measurements, esp. in astronomy and navigation. M18.
OED


sextant
An instrument consisting of a graduated arc equal to a sixth part of a circle and a sighting mechanism, used for measuring angular distances between objects and esp. for taking altitudes in astronomy and navigation. E17.
OED

Reflecting circle
...a complete circular instrument graduated to 720°. ... As a navigation instrument, the reflecting circle was more popular with the ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflecting_instrument
Selected response from:

Graham macLachlan
Local time: 03:56
Grading comment
This seems the most logical, given the imprecise text I mentioned.
Thanks for your help!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +5quadrant
Graham macLachlan
4reflecting circle
kashew
4could be Astronomical Circle
Drmanu49
Summary of reference entries provided
CERCLE A REFLEXION
kashew
Reflecting instruments
Miranda Joubioux

Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
could be Astronomical Circle


Explanation:
An Account of Observations Made with the Eight Feet Astronomical Circle, at the Observatory of Trinity College, Dublin, since the Beginning of the Year 1818 ...
links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0261-0523(1821)111%3C327%3AAAOOMW%3E2.0.CO%3B2-L

Drmanu49
France
Local time: 03:56
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 170

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Graham macLachlan: sounds a bit big for a navigation instrument
59 mins
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
reflecting circle


Explanation:
see ref.

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Note added at 1 hr (2008-11-24 12:33:57 GMT)
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The full-circle instrument would be more appropriate for an observatory. So they could be talking of a fragment from one.


kashew
France
Local time: 03:56
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 66
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
quadrant


Explanation:
An instrument for taking angular measurements of altitude (formerly esp. in astronomy and navigation), usu. consisting of a graduated quarter-circle and a sighting mechanism. LME.
OED

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2008-11-24 11:34:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

quart de cercle, quart-de-cercle
mar., nav. ,,
Instrument ancien de l'astronomie de position, dans lequel une lunette de visée est mobile dans un plan vertical, et accolée à un grand quart de cercle fixe divisé très finement sur lequel on lit les rotations de la lunette`` (MULLER 1980). Synon. quadrant.
TLF

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-11-24 12:38:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

cf.

octant
An instrument in the form of a graduated eighth of a circle, used for making angular measurements, esp. in astronomy and navigation. M18.
OED


sextant
An instrument consisting of a graduated arc equal to a sixth part of a circle and a sighting mechanism, used for measuring angular distances between objects and esp. for taking altitudes in astronomy and navigation. E17.
OED

Reflecting circle
...a complete circular instrument graduated to 720°. ... As a navigation instrument, the reflecting circle was more popular with the ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflecting_instrument


Graham macLachlan
Local time: 03:56
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 352
Grading comment
This seems the most logical, given the imprecise text I mentioned.
Thanks for your help!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Peter Shortall: Yes, nothing to do with astrology at all (and the asker doesn't seem to have parsed it correctly - it's "quart de cercle")
0 min
  -> thanks Peter

agree  Tony M
4 mins
  -> thanks Tony

agree  Juliette Scott
11 mins
  -> thanks Juliette

agree  Michael GREEN: Quite so, Graham ... :)
15 mins
  -> thanks Michael

agree  Sandra Mouton
7 hrs
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Reference comments


36 mins
Reference: CERCLE A REFLEXION

Reference information:
Reflecting circle, Circle by Borda, Cercle.
different from the octant and sextant... - see Bonnefoux & Paris, which also gives quadrant as octant.

kashew
France
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 66

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
neutral  Graham macLachlan: M. Bonnefoux wasn't the world's best translator but great book all the same
35 mins
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4 hrs
Reference: Reflecting instruments

Reference information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflecting_instrument

Reflecting circle
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/type.cf...

Borda circle
See picture in link
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Bord...

More pictures
http://www.hasi.gr/instruments/ast85

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Note added at 4 hrs (2008-11-24 15:46:29 GMT)
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Interesting to see this picture
http://www.museum-lyon.org/collections/collections_sciences_...

Miranda Joubioux
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 74
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