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Astrolabe Lab

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A hands-on workshop to make an astrolabe and learn the amazing tale of how Samuel de Champlain’s navigational instrument was lost and found. 

In this hands-on family workshop, you will make your own astrolabe, a handheld navigational device used by Samuel de Champlain when he mapped the Ottawa River in 1613. You will see Champlain’s own astrolabe, and hear the amazing story of how the explorer lost it during a portage near the Ottawa River, how a farm boy named Edward Lee apparently found it near Cobden, Ont. in 1867, and how it eventually ended up in the Museum of Civilization’s national collection. By learning how to use your new paper astrolabe, you will appreciate how difficult it must have been for Champlain to find his way without his.  

Image : Francis Back
CMC, S96-25079 

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