Tellurion: Hold Part of the Galaxy in the Palm of your Hand

Tellurion: Hold Part of the Galaxy in the Palm of your Hand

What is a tellurion? When did such devices first appear, what are they used for and what different varieties are there? Let’s explore these fascinating mechanisms, using the example of the Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears.

Ugears 3D puzzle Mechanical Tellurion

Every one of us on planet Earth has wondered how night comes to replace day, and why it's day on half the globe, while night on the other half. How do the seasons change, why is it sum mer in one part of the world and winter in another? Why is the moon sometimes visible in its entirety, but only partly visible most of the time?

Astronomy holds the answer to these questions. The Earth, our planet, continuously rotates around its axis, and around the largest celestial body in our part of the Universe: the sun. As the Earth spins the sun illuminates first one side, then the other, resulting in day or night. In addition, the Earth's movement around the sun and the tilt of its axis brings a change of seasons, as the Northern, then the Southern Hemispheres are closer to the sun. The full moon occurs when the moon is behind the Earth, because the sun illuminates the entire surface of the moon visible to us earthlings. When the moon is between the Earth and the sun, we only see the unlit moon.We call this phase the “new moon.”

It's well enough to talk about these things, but so much more instructive to see how the whole system works! To clearly demonstrate the interacting motions of Earth, sun, and moon, we need a special device—a tellurion.

Some interesting facts about Tellurions

A tellurion is an astronomical mechanism that demonstrates the movement of the Earth around its axis and around the Sun, as well as the phenomena associated with this—the change of seasons, the length of day and night. The name of the mechanism (sometimes spelled tellurian) comes from the Latin "tellus," meaning "earth."

In a tellurion, a smaller ball representing the Earth moves around a larger ball representing the sun (sometimes a light source such as a lantern is used instead) as well as around its own axis. A third, even smaller ball represents the moon and rotates around the Earth ball.

Historians believe that the first tellurion was made by the German astronomer Wilhelm Schickard in the 1600s. And the oldest tellurion that has survived to this day is the model of the Dutch cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu.

Another mechanism similar to the tellurion is the orrery (also called a planetarium). Although orreries do not demonstrate the change of day and night or the change of seasons, they show the movement and interaction of all the planets of the Solar System, and in more advanced models, even include satellite moons.

The Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears

Ugears wooden 3D puzzle Mechanical Tellurion

The Mechanical Tellurion wooden 3D puzzle, designed by our talented team of Ugears designers and engineers, demonstrates the cosmic dance between sun, Earth, and moon, the change of day and night, the phases of the moon, the change of seasons, and even the change of signs of the zodiac. It is a surprisingly accurate wooden model tellurion, a heliocentric planetary mechanism illustrating the relative position and movement of the celestial bodies in our corner of the Solar System.

You can manually adjust the Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears to accurately show the relative position of the sun, Earth, and moon on a particular day. To do this, you need to set the pointer to the middle of winter or summer on the dial of the seasons, and then rotate the Earth with a gear under the phases of the Moon, so that your hemisphere is either furthest from the Sun in mid-winter, or closest to the Sun in summer. Then you turn a lever forward or backward the correct number of days to set the current day. After referring to the lunar calendar, use the upper gear wheel to adjust the position of the moon to the correct phase. Now your Mechanical Tellurion is ready to go. Wind the model one revolution every day to reflect the movements of the Earth around the Sun and the moon around the Earth.

Some interesting features of the Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears:

✅ the model has a precisely calibrated gear system: one revolution of the handle = one revolution of the Earth around its axis = one day;

✅ demonstrates the real tilt angle of the Earth relative to its axis: 23.5 degrees;

✅ has graphic images of the zodiac (showing signs and constellations);

✅ helps visualize sunrise and sunset, the transition of day into night.

Ugears wooden mechanical 3D puzzle Mechanical Tellurion

Ugears designers are fans of astronomy and have managed to create a truly exciting mechanism. The Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears will interest everyone who has ever wondered about their place in the Universe, who has ever dreamed of going to space, or who has watched the movement of celestial bodies through a telescope. This ingenious wooden mechanical 3D puzzle is useful for the study of mechanics and astronomy, or perhaps for those wanting to explain to a child the natural phenomena that rule our lives: day/night, seasons, the lunar cycle and the construct of time itself.

The Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears consists of 249 parts. It may look complex at first glance, but don't worry, the model is rated "Medium" difficulty and only requires about five hours of exciting build time. Why not spend those five hours in the company of friends or loved ones, building together and sharing in the satisfaction of your completed project? Or if you want some alone time, away from the daily bustle, you can retreat to your workroom, garage or study and enjoy the peaceful zen of assembling this DIY model and watching its cosmic dance.  

Like all Ugears 3D puzzles, the Mechanical Tellurion assembles without glue or additional tools or materials. Everything you need to build this DIY project is included in the kit. Each part is carefully laser cut into a plywood board. Just snap out the parts and connect them together. The assembly is guided by detailed, illustrated, color, step-by-step instructions in 11 languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian).

Ugears wooden mechanical DIY 3D puzzle Mechanical Tellurion

The Mechanical Tellurion by Ugears is a great gift: as a ready-to-assemble kit in the box, or as a completed mechanism you've pre-assembled. This model will be a stylish addition to any interior—office, living room, bedroom, etc. It can be left in its attractive natural wood state or colored to your liking.

Order the Mechanical Tellurion and other outstanding Ugears models at our official worldwide online store: or from distributors in your country. There are more than 100 models to choose from in the catalog, and we deliver to 85 countries on five continents all across planet Earth—the planet we all spin on together.

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