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Armillaries and Orreries

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Magic: the gathering players are well treated this weekend kicking off with Friday Night Magic this evening and a whole lot of multiplayer fun with the new Conspiracy set for Saturday and Sunday.

One Conspiracy reprintVedalken Orrery caught our attention - it certainly could be a powerful card but our focus was on the art itself.  We love the artistic beauty of renaissance science equipment and of course all things steampunk.  Furthermore, we simply cannot get tired of watching the opening of each Game of Thrones episode which sort of reminds us of some Dyson Sphere.  

Anywhoos - we really did not know specifically know what an orrery was (or an armillary for that matter) other than it was a scientific model (more demonstrative and decorative than analytical).  Here's the 4.1.1. from Wiki -

Vedalken Orrerry, illustrated by John Avon
An armillary sphere (variations are known as spherical astrolabe, armilla, or armil) is a model of objects in the sky (in the celestial sphere), consisting of a spherical framework of rings, centred on Earth, that represent lines of celestial longitude and latitude and other astronomically important features such as the ecliptic.

Armillary Sphere, illustrated by Franz Vohwinkel
An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system that illustrates or predicts the the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons, usually according to the heliocentric model. It may also represent the relative sizes of these bodies; but since accurate scaling is often not practical due to the actual large ratio differences, a subdued approximation may be used instead. 

While both Magic: the Gathering cards are pretty cool (more the  Vedalken Orrerry letting you cast any nonlands and instants), we are much more appreciative of the very lovely arts.
Ptolemaic Armillary Sphere (1588-1593), by Antonio santucci, Uffizi Gallery in Florence

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