Rising to the Occasion. Despite its scientific shape, it is easy to read this mouthblown glass iteration of the Galileo Thermometer. The varying density of the glass spheres within the cylinder of this Galileo Thermometer allows them to rise or fall as temperatures change. Simply identify the lowest floating sphere and its tag will indicate the temperature with an accuracy within 2°, between 68° to 80° Fahrenheit. 15"h. x 3.125"dia.
Named for the physicist Galileo—who discovered the principle that liquid density changes in relation to its temperature—the Galileo Thermometer was actually invented by a group of Florentine academics and technicians in 1666. In addition to some of Galileo’s own personal correspondence cataloged in our Smithsonian Institution Libraries, our National Air and Space Museum curates an extensive collection of weather-data gathering devices, including a 16mm weather observation camera, a Pibal weather bureau and numerous meteorological satellites.
Every Smithsonian purchase will arrive with a museum provenance card explaining how it is adapted from or inspired by an object or objects in our collection.
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