The Astrolabe in Phoenix sounds amazing and alien and cool and everything, but it’s actually not that different from a real historical astrolabe:
The writer is just making it sound cool by hyping its qualities: blacker than black, like space metal, mysterious, precise.
You can do the same thing: take something from the real world and just exaggerate it into alienness. Or describe it as if you’ve never encountered anything like it before. (What would Airpods look like to a caveman?)