Thin brass disk inserted into the → mater of a → planispheric astrolabe. It carries the grid of → altazimuth coordinates shown in polar → stereographic projection for the → latitude of the specific observation locality. In addition to the main → vertical circles and the main → almucantars, the tympanum reproduces some elements of the → celestial sphere - the → celestial equator, the → tropic of Cancer, and the → tropic of Capricorn, as well as the hour lines for determining the unequal hours of day or night respectively from the Sun's position on the ecliptic or from the altitude of a star marked on the → rete (online museo galileo, VirtualMuseum).
From L. tympanum "drum," from Gk. tympanon "a drum, panel of a door," from root of typtein "to beat, strike."
Hojré, from Ar. hujrah "chamber."