mercury

Celestyme: A Digital Clock That Shows Where All the Planets Are

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Timepieces are fascinating, especially when they give you extra information, like the current phase of the moon or sunrise/sunset times. And whether you’re into astronomy, astrology, or both, it’s fun to know where the planets are currently in the sky.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a clock that shows you not just the time, date, and moon phase, but also the zodiac locations of the sun, moon, and all planets, plus the rising sign and Mercury and Venus retrograde status?

And wouldn’t it be even more interesting and cool if the clock displayed this information digitally via a dot-matrix LED array, with all astrological symbols represented as 8×8 glyphs?

Meet Celestyme

Celestyme is a beautiful and conversation-inspiring digital clock that does all of this. Inside, a single-board computer uses the current date and time to periodically look up astronomical data from an internal SD card that contains the JPL DE421 ephemeris, an open-source database of planetary positions calculated up to October 2053.

(An ordinary computer can’t calculate current planetary positions from date and time– it’s the kind of simulation that you need supercomputers to crunch on for long periods of time. That’s why Celestyme needs to do a lookup from an SD card.)

The current celestial positions are then displayed on Celetyme’s distinctive, vertical dot-matrix LED face as 8×8 glyphs, letting experienced users see their place in the universe with a quick glance, and teaching new users their astrological symbols. For example, 12:30am GMT on January 25, 2014 would show symbols like this:

12:30am GMT
Jan 25 2014
🌗
Asc

These are just the Unicode character symbols, not how they’ll look on Celestyme. If you don’t recognize them all now, Celestyme will teach them to you. Meantime, they translate to:

12:30am GMT
Jan 25 2014
Sun in Aquarius
Moon (last quarter) in Scorpio
Libra Rising
Mercury in Aquarius
Venus in Capricorn
Mars in Libra
Jupiter in Cancer
Saturn in Scorpio
Uranus in Aries
Neptune in Pisces
Pluto in Capricorn

Celestyme is a blending of old and new that bears multiple interpretations– much like astrology itself. In function and form, it recalls the mechanical orreries and grandfather clocks of yesteryear, while its dot-matrix LED display honors the early computer age. Displayed in your home, Celestyme connects you to changes in the cosmos as you live your life, and it challenges visitors to wonder where you’re coming from.

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