Astronomy Patents (Class 434/284)
  • Patent number: 9314216
    Abstract: The invention relates to an intra-oral x-ray imaging arrangement which includes an imaging sensor (30) arranged positionable within a patient's mouth and a control system of the imaging arrangement. The control system is arranged in functional connection with a means that has been arranged to send measurement signals to the control system informing on position of at least one component included in the arrangement. In connection with the imaging sensor (30), and a radiation source (4) included in the arrangement, means (A, M, G) have been arranged to measure their spatial position and to send measurement signals based on these measurements to the control system arranged with a means to determine, based on said measurement signals, information on mutual spatial position of the imaging sensor (30) and the radiation source (4), or of a component (40, 50) arranged to the radiation source (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: PLANMECA OY
    Inventors: Christian De Godzinsky, Kustaa Nyholm
  • Patent number: 9124786
    Abstract: Described herein are systems and techniques for periodically projecting content onto a display medium that is configured to display images for a finite amount of time, during which time the images decay until the image substantially or entirely disappears from the display medium. That is, the systems and techniques may project light onto the display medium, with the light energizing particles of the display medium to display a predefined image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher D. Coley, Beverly L. Harrison, William Thomas Weatherford
  • Patent number: 8460004
    Abstract: An educational field chart used for observing the Moon. The two-piece chart has an indicator wheel joined with a background chart that depicts the Sun, Earth and the Moon in orbit. The pieces rotate to locate a moon phase illustration that matches the Moon in the sky. Once set, a user can automatically determine facts and aspects about the Moon during this phase. Information aligns on both pieces to tell the following about the Moon: a) the moon phase name, b) the position of the Moon in orbit going around Earth, c) the rise & set time of the phase, and when it is visible in the sky, and d) the approximate day of the phase in the lunar month. The illustrations on the chart also visually correlate the relationship of the Sun, Earth and Moon during each moon phase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventor: Robert Crelin
  • Patent number: 8062036
    Abstract: A therapeutic tool for use with a patient in psychotherapy is provided, the tool includes a central gyroscopic element, a plurality of concentric rings extending around the central gyroscopic element, and a plurality of outer elements removably disposed on the rings and configured to be movable around the rings, wherein the rings are pivotally associated with the gyroscopic ball, and wherein the gyroscopic element is configured to represent a seeing self of the patient and the rings are configured to represent a plurality of subpersonalities of the patient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Inventor: David Cantor
  • Patent number: 8057045
    Abstract: A projection apparatus for generating a moving star field and a cloud-like effect comprises a means for generating a cloud-like effect using at least one non-coherent light source, a means for generating a moving star field using at least one coherent light source and a means for regulating and supplying electric power. The means for generating cloud-like effect using at least one non-coherent light source comprises at least one pair of condenser lenses and an interferential filter wheel rotated by a motor, disposed between at least one pair of condenser lenses. The means for generating the moving star field using a coherent light source comprises a grating wheel rotated by a motor and a diffractive optical element disposed between the at least one coherent light source and the grating wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Bliss Holdings LLC
    Inventor: Randy E. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7959307
    Abstract: Embodiments include a light engine to generate pixels and a number of lenses positioned to receive pixels from the light engine and to project the pixels on to a field with a higher angular pixel density at an edge of the field than at a center of the field. A method according to embodiments includes generating pixels in a light engine, receiving the pixels from the light engine in a plurality of lenses, and projecting the pixels through the plurality of lenses on to a field with a higher angular pixel density at an edge of the field than at a center of the field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: The Elumenati, LLC
    Inventors: D'nardo Colucci, David M. McConville, Clayton C. Hooker
  • Patent number: 7957059
    Abstract: An optical system includes two lens systems, one that provides viewing of an object with relatively no spherical aberration, and another that provides viewing of the object with significant spherical aberration. Preferably, both lens systems provide viewing of the object with relatively no chromatic aberration. The optical system may have the configuration of binoculars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: Bausch & Lomb Incorporated
    Inventor: Jan Peter Unsbo
  • Publication number: 20100291525
    Abstract: An educational field chart used for observing the Moon. The two-piece chart has an indicator wheel joined with a background chart that depicts the Sun, Earth and the Moon in orbit. The pieces rotate to locate a moon phase illustration that matches the Moon in the sky. Once set, a user can automatically determine facts and aspects about the Moon during this phase. Information aligns on both pieces to tell the following about the Moon: a) the moon phase name, b) the position of the Moon in orbit going around Earth, c) the rise & set time of the phase, and when it is visible in the sky, and d) the approximate day of the phase in the lunar month. The illustrations on the chart also visually correlate the relationship of the Sun, Earth and Moon during each moon phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2010
    Publication date: November 18, 2010
    Inventor: Robert Crelin
  • Patent number: 7764985
    Abstract: Devices and processes for use in computer aided or computer navigated surgery include one or more fault interfaces interposed between an indicium and an item to be used during surgery such as a body part, tool, implant, trial or other structure or component. After the indicia have been registered into the system and surgery begun, it is sometimes the case that indicia can be inadvertently moved or dislodged in position and/or orientation relative to the body part. Fault interfaces according to various embodiments are designed to fail first, so that the indicia can be repositioned relative to the item without the need to reregister the indicia into the system relative to the item. The fault interfaces preferably include structure that allows the indicium to be repositioned relative to the item so that it does not need to be reregistered into the system. Frame attachments which can by easily manufactured at relatively low cost, are disposable, and which are manufactured for single use are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Smith & Nephew, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel L. McCombs, Robert C. Thornberry, Jody Stallings
  • Publication number: 20100124735
    Abstract: Method and apparatus are provided for a hand-held planetarium which displays a sky pattern comprising graphical representations of one or more celestial objects. A sensing system comprising one or more sensors provides information about an orientation of the device. A controller receives the information about the orientation of the device from the sensing system and determines therefrom an altitude angle of a pointing axis and an azimuthal angle of the pointing axis. The controller accesses a database of celestial objects and determines, from within the database, one or more selected celestial objects for display based at least in part on a measure of proximity of the celestial objects to the pointing axis. Graphical representations of the one or more selected celestial objects are displayed on a display screen. The planetarium may switch between a normal orientation mode and a downward facing orientation mode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2009
    Publication date: May 20, 2010
    Inventors: Chin Chuan CHEN, Yan LIU
  • Patent number: 7621647
    Abstract: Embodiments include a light engine to generate pixels and a number of lenses positioned to receive pixels from the light engine and to project the pixels on to a field with a higher angular pixel density at an edge of the field than at a center of the field. A method according to embodiments includes generating pixels in a light engine, receiving the pixels from the light engine in a plurality of lenses, and projecting the pixels through the plurality of lenses on to a field with a higher angular pixel density at an edge of the field than at a center of the field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2009
    Assignee: The Elumenati, LLC
    Inventors: D'nardo Colucci, David M. McConville, Clayton C. Hooker
  • Publication number: 20080261190
    Abstract: Illumination provided to the interior of a convex surface can be controlled using a plurality of internal barriers separating light sources such as light emitting diodes. Such controlled illumination can simulate phases of the moon using logic which can be limited to yes or no Boolean decisions, thereby minimizing the complexity of required input.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2007
    Publication date: October 23, 2008
    Inventors: Edward Cheung, Eric Poesch, Frank Adler, Michael O'Connor
  • Patent number: 7438422
    Abstract: A portable structure, simply constructed with inexpensive and generally lightweight materials, for displaying a selected portion of the night sky and selected planets, satellites, comets and other astronomically observable objects that are visually perceptible within that portion of the night sky. The structure includes a computer having stored signals representing the observable objects, an image projector that converts and projects the stored signals as visually perceptible images, a first curvilinear light-reflecting surface to receive and reflect the visually perceptible images, and a second curvilinear surface to receive and display the visually perceptible images reflected from the first surface. The images may be motionless or may move with passage of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration
    Inventor: Timothy P. Castellano
  • Patent number: 7428780
    Abstract: Celestial object location devices with sensor arrays of having less that one sensor for each of three orthogonal components of gravity and magnetic field vectors. The accuracy of position sensing is enhanced by estimating “missing” sensor input based on input from two orthogonal sensors provided, or determined with limitations from the two gravitational sensors provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2008
    Assignee: Yamcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Lemp, III, Michael Hatalski
  • Publication number: 20080131856
    Abstract: A capturing apparatus with a star observing function and a star observing method is disclosed. The user obtains a constellation photo from the constellation database by using the satellite time and the longitude and the latitude information at which the user is using the capturing apparatus for observing the stars. The user can find the target constellation by utilizing the azimuth guidance provided from the azimuth guiding unit and capture the target constellation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2007
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Inventor: Yu-Shuang Chi
  • Patent number: 7155833
    Abstract: Celestial object location devices with sensor arrays of having less that one sensor for each of three orthogonal components of gravity and magnetic field vectors. The accuracy of position sensing is enhanced by estimating “missing” sensor input based on input from two orthogonal sensors provided, or determined with limitations from the two gravitational sensors provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: Yamcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Lemp, III, Michael Hatalski
  • Patent number: 7010862
    Abstract: Celestial object location devices with sensor arrays of having less that one sensor for each of three orthogonal components of gravity and magnetic field vectors. The accuracy of position sensing is enhanced by estimating “missing” sensor input based on input from two orthogonal sensors provided, or determined with limitations from the two gravitational sensors provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2006
    Assignee: Yamcon, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Lemp, III, Michael Hatalski
  • Patent number: 7004588
    Abstract: Featured is a portable planetarium device suitable for use in projecting clear bright images of stars, planets, and other celestial objects onto a curved viewing surface. The portable planetarium devices of the invention comprise a point light source generators, a light dispersing lens assembly, and an opaque enclosure having transparent domains surrounding the light dispersing lens assembly. Also featured is a portable point light source comprising a light source, a light collection element and a light conducting conduit suitable for use in providing high intensity light with a small cross-sectional area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Learning Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Phillip M. Sadler
  • Patent number: 6928032
    Abstract: A mechanism for displaying the moon phases which has an upper disc or moon dial (1) and a lower disc or moon indicator (2) that is mounted concentrically to it. One of these discs is mounted rotatably relative to the other. The moon dial (1) has two windows (1a, 1b) in order to account in the display for the different appearance of the moon phases in the northern and southern hemisphere of the earth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Richemont International SA
    Inventors: Gerd Plange, Denis Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6885614
    Abstract: The device includes an indicator (3) in the shape of a plate, moving behind a dial (1) having a circular aperture (2), which represents the lunar disc. The indicator includes an S-shaped line of separation (6) between a dark zone (4) and a light zone (5) representing the non-illuminated part and the illuminated part of the moon in the aperture. The indicator is rotatably mounted at the centre of symmetry C of the line of separation (6) on a rotating support making two revolutions per lunation. An image matching the appearance of the moon in each phase is thus obtained. Such a device can be used particularly in a watch or another timepiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: Asulab S.A.
    Inventor: Gilles Rey-Mermet
  • Patent number: 6821125
    Abstract: A planetarium has a planet projection system comprising: a rotatable stage positioned concentrically with a precession axis of a fixed star projection globe and performing an X-axis motion; and a sleeve-type planet projector positioned at an eccentric position with respect to an X axis on the rotatable stage and performing a Y-axis motion for allowing a projection direction to vary upward and downward in relation to the rotatable stage. The X-axis and Y-axis motions are controlled on the basis of values calculated by a planet-movement operation unit receiving date and time data, to project the movement of planets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushikigaisya Goto Kogaku Kenkyujyo
    Inventors: Takamasa Sekiguchi, Yasushi Kuwahara, Takeshi Sugamata
  • Publication number: 20030218546
    Abstract: A hand-held electronic celestial object-locating device assists in identifying a celestial object or directing a user to a desired celestial object. The device is useful for locating or identifying any celestial object including stars, constellations, planets, comets, asteroids, artificial satellites, and deep sky objects to name a few. The device utilizes sensors for 3-axis magnetic field and 3-axis gravitational field detection. The device utilizes a processor and an electronic database to perform the required calculations. The device's database may be updated through access to the Internet through which the updates may be purchased.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2003
    Publication date: November 27, 2003
    Applicant: Yamcon, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Lemp
  • Patent number: 6625085
    Abstract: A universal timepiece from which a latitude and a longitude can be determined. A bottom plate which has the names of the main cities in the world, scales and the relative longitudes according to the real longitudes of the cities on the circumference thereof, is included. Comprised is a circular hour plate which has a 24-divisional scale having the same angles with respect to the center. And a circular star plate which rotates 360.99 per 24 hours is included. The rotational axis coincides with the Polaris or the south pole and the main stars and a concentric circle for representing the declination are designated in the star plate. At each concentric circle, the declination or the value obtained by subtracting the declination from 90 is recorded. The clock plate rotates to indicate the time. The star plate is the timepiece which rotates in the same velocity with the actual celestial sphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Timespace System Co. Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoon-hyoung Eo, Jang-sung Choi
  • Patent number: 6565360
    Abstract: An orrery for teaching a user about the solar system. The orrery includes a generally hollow sphere and has an outer surface and an inner surface. The sphere is generally transparent. Each of plurality of rings has consecutively descending smaller diameter from a largest ring to a smallest ring. A plurality of pair of couplers couple the rings to each other and couple the largest ring to the inner surface of the sphere such that the rings are positioned within each other in order of descending lengths of diameters and are concentric. Each of a plurality of globes represents a planet of the solar system and each is attached to one of the rings such that the globes are extendable along the rings. An orb, being generally coaxial with the smallest ring, is attached to the smallest ring by a plurality of fasteners. The orb represents the sun.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Inventor: George Kavvouras
  • Patent number: 6507536
    Abstract: A moon-phase dial mechanism comprising two overlapping, rotatable discs behind a substantially circular window capable of exhibiting a representation of the phases of the moon in a lunar cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Inventor: Richard Keatch
  • Publication number: 20020160346
    Abstract: A planetarium has a planet projection system comprising: a rotatable stage positioned concentrically with a precession axis of a fixed star projection globe and performing an X-axis motion; and a sleeve-type planet projector positioned at an eccentric position with respect to an X axis on the rotatable stage and performing a Y-axis motion for allowing a projection direction to vary upward and downward in relation to the rotatable stage. The X-axis and Y-axis motions are controlled on the basis of values calculated by a planet-movement operation unit receiving date and time data, to project the movement of planets.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 23, 2002
    Publication date: October 31, 2002
    Inventors: Takamasa Sekiguchi, Yasushi Kuwahara, Takeshi Sugamata
  • Publication number: 20020142276
    Abstract: An educational toy which allows a user to experience the true scale of our solar system is disclosed. The toy includes a box with a tape or strip of paper contained within the box. The length of the tape when it is unwound represents a scaled distance between the earth and the sun. Located at a first end of the tape is a dot representing the earth. Located at a second end, opposite the first end of the tape is a circle representing the sun. The sizes of the dot and of the circle represent the relative size of the earth and sun when they are spaced at the scaled distance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2001
    Publication date: October 3, 2002
    Inventor: Matthew D. Marhefka
  • Patent number: 6343938
    Abstract: An educational astronautical system for instructing students in the cause and result of the phases of the moon. A hollow outer sphere has a smaller inner sphere mounted in the center of the inside space of the outer sphere. The inner sphere resembles the surface of the moon. A light source ifs provided on the equator of the outer sphere to illuminate the surface of the inner sphere. A eight viewing stations are provided, equally spaced around the equator of the outer sphere, one of said viewing stations being placed coincident with the light source whereby viewing the inner sphere from different stations gives the viewer a picture of a different phase of the moon at each station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Inventor: David R. Moreland
  • Patent number: 6238216
    Abstract: A science teaching aid in the form of a blue-coated thin metal plate depicting the sky is removably attached to a classroom wall or ceiling. The center of the plate defines a yellow circle depicting the sun. Attached to the plate in various positions around the perimeter of the sun are a number of magnet balls of different colors. Each color indicating one of the nine planets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Inventor: Daniel J. Menelly
  • Patent number: 6176705
    Abstract: A solar system teaching aid for teaching relationships between astral bodies of the solar system. The solar system teaching aid includes a bracket having a securing means. The securing means is adapted for securing the bracket to the ceiling. A plurality of hooks extend downward from the bracket. The hooks are spaced apart. A plurality of astral body assemblies each have an orb portion and a hanging means. The hanging means is coupled to the orb portion. The hanging means is for hanging the orb portion from an associated hook.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Inventors: Shawn Garvey, Frank Contaldi
  • Patent number: 6056554
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for finding and identifying objects in a nighttime sky include a lighted map arrangement, an electronic compass, and means to operate and view the apparatus in the dark to either find the objective in the nighttime sky or to identify an object observed in the nighttime sky. The apparatus and methods provide for orientation as to the physical geographical location of the viewer and the current date and time, as well as orientation of the viewing apparatus relative to the viewer and the nighttime sky.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Inventor: Sidney Samole
  • Patent number: 6048210
    Abstract: In a planetarium apparatus, a first controller controls a projector for projecting a state of celestial bodies as observed from a selected first viewpoint onto a dome, and a second controller controls a display and/or a video projector for displaying said state of celestial bodies as observed from a selected second viewpoint onto the dome and/or on other screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Nozomu Shiotsu, Rie Matsubara
  • Patent number: 6033230
    Abstract: A planetarium of the present invention has a plurality of projectors for projecting astronomical bodies and the like, input device and the like for entering data relating to the attitude of said projector, controller for controlling the attitude of said projector in accordance with said data, and memory device. The memory device stores variety information relating to planets, constellations, astronomical phenomena, and so one. When the attitude of projectors is entered, suitable information from among the information stored in the memory device is selected and displayed on a display device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Minolta Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Nozomu Shiotsu, Rie Matsubara
  • Patent number: 6030227
    Abstract: A digital solar system model includes a display with a center representing the sun, and discrete lamps arranged in concentric loops around the sun representing the planetary orbits. The lamps are controlled by a processor. The orbital motion of each planet is represented by sequentially illuminating the lamps in a corresponding orbit. Each planet must wait through a predetermined count between adjacent lamp positions, and the count is proportional to the size of the orbit. Upon startup, the planets are set to their proper relative positions on a default starting date, then set in motion at their proper relative orbital rates. The speed, direction, and starting/stopping of orbital motion are controlled via a motion control keypad. Time passage is shown on a digital date display. Numeric keys are provided on the motion control keypad for entering a GOTO date of a desired Earth year and month within a permitted range of past and future dates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Inventor: Walter Lasecki
  • Patent number: 5967791
    Abstract: An astronomical display apparatus for providing a 3-dimensional view of a plurality of scaled astronomical bodies, wherein the bodies may be elevated (to float) upon a column of air while being slowly rotated. The display apparatus includes a base having an upper, preferably flattened deck surface. The base further includes an air supply inlet tube that is coupled to air cups mounted on the deck surface to enable a source of pressurized air emitted from the air cups to form the columns of air. The apparatus may be provided with several interchangeable deck surfaces wherein each deck surface may represent a distinct collection or grouping of astronomical bodies, such as stars, planets, and or moons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Inventor: Jaques Abrahamian
  • Patent number: 5931678
    Abstract: An apparatus for demonstrating various phenomena associated with the earth's movement about the sun, having an upright fixedly attached to a base, at least one arm having two ends and being mounted on the upright in such a way as to be rotatable in a vertical plane, a crooked bearing housing for a spindle located near one of the ends, carrying a rotatable globe and constituting the axis of rotation thereof, all in such a way that, with respect to a line normal to the plane defined by the are, the axis of rotation of the globe is imparted a downward inclination of about 23.5.degree.. The apparatus further includes a light source unit attached to the arm at a point near the other end thereof and producing a light beam of a spatial extent sufficient to fully cover the globe, and drive means for causing the globe to rotate about its own axis, and for causing the arm to rotate in the vertical plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Inventor: Avinoam Atzaba
  • Patent number: 5704653
    Abstract: A system to help a viewer find stars, planets, deep sky objects and constellations is disclosed. The system has a series of sky maps showing different views of the sky. One or more tables is provided for each map. The tables assist in corresponding the sky map to the sky. The tables have coordinates corresponding to times and dates and inform the viewer as to the direction in which he should look, the way in which the sky map should be oriented and whether the viewer should look high in the sky, low in the sky or in-between.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignees: Samuel Lee, Al Lawrence, Timothy Brown
    Inventor: Samuel Lee
  • Patent number: 5701678
    Abstract: A space-time tracker for announcing the time and tracking the celestrial bodies on the spot of observation comprises a clock mechanism with clock hands on a dial of 24 hours and a synchronic motor for driving a star atlas and a plurality of planet driving devices which actuate a plurality of annular displays moving around a moon/star ring to periodically show an on spot planet thereon. The space-time tracker also indicates the variations or deviations of the solar calendar and the lunar calendar and the times of different time zones around the world. This disclosure is characterized in automatically and perfectly demonstrating the relationship between the time and space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Inventor: Jen-Hu Wang
  • Patent number: 5649827
    Abstract: A system capable of drawing a constellation picture over actual stars in the sky in a superimposed manner therewith. A screen, which allows light from outside the screen to pass, is stretched up above the ground. A laser beam scanner is located on the ground to project and scan a laser beam onto the screen. The laser beam is emitted from the ground with such a power that makes the reflection light from the screen visible from the ground when the laser beam is being scanned onto the screen. Thus, an image of the constellation picture is visible together with their actual constituent stars in the sky, in a superimposed manner. A novel tool is provided which is effective for education, study and observation of constellations and heavenly bodies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1997
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yasuji Suzaki
  • Patent number: 5529500
    Abstract: A disk that illustrates a polar view of the earth rotatably mounted on a flat supporting base representing a celestial plane through the earth's equator. A radial arm is provided with its proximal end pivotally mounted on the center of the earth disk and its distal end fitted with a fixed disk representing the moon, such that the moon's orbit is modeled by the arm's rotation around the earth showing the near side of the moon always facing the earth. Half of the moon disk is covered by a semicircular structure representing the zone of exposure to sunlight, which can be used to explain the gradual and continuous change of moon phase as the moon revolves around the earth. Other embodiments of the invention illustrate the seasonal change of the earth's exposure to sunlight, the moon's effect on tides, and the earth's and moon's revolutions around the sun.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 25, 1996
    Inventor: Luann E. Dahlman
  • Patent number: 5230631
    Abstract: A pair of spaced-apart, parallel rings is provided, with each ring provided with a plurality of semicircular loop portions pivotally connected to the respective ring about its circumference. Each ring has two sets of a plurality of semicircular loops, a first outer set that is pivotal in a first direction away from the other ring, and a second inner set that is pivotally connected to the first set of loops of the other ring. The loops of each set are arranged in an overlapping manner, so that when one of the loops is rotated, all of the loops of that set are concurrently rotated. Since the inner sets of loops of the two rings are pivotally interconnected, rotation of any loop of either of the two second inner sets will concurrently rotate the other loops of the second inner sets. Rotation of these loops of the second inner sets is achieved by drawing closer the two rings or by pulling them apart. The two first outer sets of loops are free to rotate in either direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1993
    Inventors: John Halmaghi, Victor Halmaghi
  • Patent number: 5217763
    Abstract: A simulated three-dimensional night sky kit for a substantially flat surface includes a plurality of groups of discrete star-shaped bodies. Each of the bodies is a rigid, planar member formed of a plastic material exhibiting phosphorescent properties. The number of bodies forming each of the plurality of groups of bodies and the tip-to-tip dimensions of the bodies of each group of bodies varies substantially between the groups of bodies to provide a simulated three-dimensional night sky when the groups of bodies are mounted in a random distribution on a substantially flat surface. Each body includes a mounting arrangement formed of a resilient foam pad, a permanent adhesive layer bonding the pad to the body, and a releasable adhesive layer on an opposite surface of the pad to releasably mount the body and the pad to a surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Inventor: Bradley J. Boury
  • Patent number: 5192212
    Abstract: A hypersurface orbital model is presented that orbits a ball on a surface called a hypersurface. A stepper motor drive arrangement, with two-degrees of freedom, is used to change the hypersurface viewed by the ball as a function of time. System control is added to ensure that the ball will orbit in the proper orbit. Control consists of a stepper motor, a clock, a solenoid launcher and various logical circuits. Counters keep track of the period so that the exact rotational speed can be referenced to set the ball launcher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1993
    Inventor: Chong Kyu Kim
  • Patent number: 5186630
    Abstract: The invention described herein is a mechanical device that appearing uncrowded with lines, numbers, and other markings, depicts the sun's daily path and gives sunlight information, for any interested latitude, date, and time.A major dial is rotated on a base according to the latitude; a sun-path slider is slid on the major dial according to the date. Then the device depicts a two-dimensional, elevation view of the sun's daily path, as a straight line, through all or some of these five zones in the sky: direct sunlight; civil, nautical, and astronomical twilights; and night.The depicted sun's daily path gives the following sunlight information: the directions and times of sunrise and sunset; the times of the beginnings and endings of the twilights. On the depicted sun's daily path, the sun's position, indicated by a sun-position slider according to the time, gives solar energy quantities and the sun's angular height on the base and the sun's direction on a minor dial.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1993
    Inventor: Li Chiu Tien
  • Patent number: 5114348
    Abstract: The invention provides a tutorial device for observing lunar phase. A base sheet is inscribed with a time scale, a ring of moon pictures and a ring of moon phases. Outer circles on the base sheet define the months, and times of moonrise, moonset and moonsharp. Mounted on the base are a rotary segment shaped moonguide, a globe longitude disc and an elevation disc with a graduated moon angle scale and a pivoted elevation finger. The movable elements are used in conjunction with the fixed rings and circles on the base sheet to obtain moon data for selected times and earth longitudes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Inventor: Shui-Tan Tzeng
  • Patent number: 4938697
    Abstract: A multi-dimensional astral position finding device for facilitating viewing selected sky areas such as constellations in the zodiacal band and elsewhere. A device which in combination with a pre-selected field of view facilitates positioning of the eye of the observer with respect to the north/south axis of the earth, the latitude of the observer's position, and time. The position finding device is pivotally mounted on a sky viewing frame or system, the position of the device being directly affected by gravitational forces, its location precisely determined with respect to the north/south axis of the earth by a compass carried by the device and serving as weight means for enhancing the gravitational effect to actuate positioning of the device, said device including indicia on a surface thereof arranged on radii extending from the axis of the pivotal mounting to facilitate desired inclination of the viewing frame relative to the horizon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Inventor: Ben Mayer
  • Patent number: 4887250
    Abstract: An apparatus for reproducing the appearance of heavenly bodies including a cover having an opaque wall defining a substantially circular opening, and a disc-like or spherical part representative of a heavenly body sized to substantially fill the opening in the cover. The part and cover are relatively rotatable about an axis which passes through the center of the opening in the cover and along a diameter of the part. The opaque wall of the cover may be hemispherical, planar, or tubular. The part may represent the moon or a celestial vault. The apparatus may include a base which supports the cover and part and houses a mechanism for rotating one of the cover and part with respect to the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 12, 1989
    Inventor: Bernard Vuarnesson
  • Patent number: 4251930
    Abstract: An astronomical chart and projection system for mapping celestial movement plots the longitudinal positions of planets, as measured along the ecliptic, against time in a rectilinear coordinate system with each of the planets being represented by a line on the chart, such a line being designated the "major line" of the planet. The major line corresponding to at least one of the planets is repeated at fixed longitudinal displacements from itself to generate harmonic reproductions, typically at 45 degree intervals. These harmonic reproductions allow a user to immediately extract aspect information between the planet whose major line is harmonically reproduced and other planets, whether or not harmonically reproduced. The longitude and time axes preferably have a common origin at respective longitude and time coordinates corresponding to the vernal equinox, thus permitting sidereal and tropical time information to be extracted from the chart by simple linear scaling of coordinates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1979
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1981
    Inventor: John G. Laver