Top Things To Do At The Royal Observatory

1. Stand Astride The Historic Meridian Line

It was the 6th of October 1884 in the Observatory at Greenwich, when twenty eight nations gathered to pass a resolution that time on the earth is to be divided into 24 equal hours, and that the Greenwich meridian is to be taken as the origin of Longitude and standard for all time. As long as you stand exactly on the Meridian Line you are actually physically closer to the International Date Line, which should make for interesting conversation with friends.

We are the guardians of time, South Greenwich Forum ( The World Time Zone Map is located in the eastern wing of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Amongst the clocks, time ball, transit telescopes and sundials can be found a line engraved into a floor tile. It was on that day, 1st October 1884 that our Prime Meridian of longitude was agreed by international convention to be positioned here. In 2012, London was voted the most influential city in the world, and Greenwich marks its historic centre.

The Prime Meridian line cuts through Greenwich Park.   On a clear day you can stand with one foot in the west (Atlantic Ocean) and one in the east (the English Channel). The location of the Prime Meridian was decided on in 1884. The Admiralty suggested that it pass through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, and so it was done. Today the Royal Observatory is still home to many historic artifacts including the famous prime meridian line.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is an impressive building at the top of Blackheath Hill in South-East London. Home to the Prime Meridian, Greenwich is the still point of our turning planet. 2. Learn about the history of the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the famous Greenwich Time Signal  which was broadcast across the airwaves from 1924 to 1960. The conference was held at the initiative of US President Chester A. Arthur who used the opportunity to announce that the United States would hold a conference to consider the adoption of a single worldwide meridian as an international standard for measurements of longitude and time.

2. Visit The World-Famous Harrison Clocks

A recommended place to visit during your visit to London is the world famous Harrison Clocks in Greenwich where you will find four famous clocks. These were designed by John Harrison, who is hailed as the father of maritime navigation. If you are a little nerdish about science and design, these are the top museums I'd recommend visiting in London. You'll be surprised at how much your kids take an interest as well my 7 year old was very engaged listening to the audio tour for example.

Harrison Clocks are described as the most famous clocks in the world and are kept behind glass in a temperature controlled room at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The four Harrison clocks, H1, H2, H3 and H4 keep time for all the clocks at the observatory. They are so accurate they lose only a second in three hundred years. This made them crucial to John Harrison's victory in solving the problem of Longitude during the 17th century.

3. Get To Know The Stars In The Peter Harrison Planetarium

So you think the only place you see stars is through your telescope? Think again! Our planetarium is a revolutionary space that combines a 40ft dome with complete sensory deprivation. You’ll be able to see 4 distinct types of stars and a variety of constellations, planets and other celestial bodies by the light of a full-sky laser show in one of our theatre shows. We provide all guests with a complimentary tour of our facility before any show, so you will get a chance to meet our staff and find out more about what we do here at the University of Southampton.

If you would like to learn more about our activities, view our website (www. groupvisits. soton. ac. uk) where you can also. The stars might seem as calm and quiet as always,  ♥  but they're not! They produce light and energy, something that takes a lot of energy in itself. You won't want to miss out on learning about gravitational waves and black holes from one of the stars of our planetarium shows. When you come see one of our planetarium shows led by an expert astronomer you'll come nose to nose with the cosmos.

You can experience the real night sky in a relaxing, fun atmosphere and maybe even get lucky enough to see Mercury, Venus or Mars. Planetarium shows are held every Friday and Saturday night in the Peter Harrison Planetarium. They are a great opportunity to learn more about astronomy and spend some time with your friends or family in a relaxed setting. This month is our last show in the Peter Harrison Planetarium, with shows running every night except Saturday.

Come and say goodbye as we create beautiful star trails through the cosmos. We get to know the stars in the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Getting up close and personal with the stars in one of our planetarium shows led by one of our expert astronomers. Many people have heard of John Harrison (1693-1776), who made the marine chronometer, an instrument which solved one of the greatest problems facing mariners: how to determine their longitude at sea.

4.Marvel At The Great Equatorial Telescope

Let me guess. You’re looking for the world’s largest telescope? Fret no more!  The Great Equatorial Telescope (GET) is a masterpiece belonging to the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Erected in 1873, this wooden behemoth of a telescope was once the largest in the world. And its massive sight tube is just as fascinating as its weight-lifting capabilities. Importantly, it was built to last; made from mahogany, it has survived numerous hurricanes and even explosions set by vandals.

It has been subject to the rigorous tests of time and I’m sure will survive many more. The story behind GET goes back to 1857 when Prince Albert built his own private observatory in Windsor. We've had the Great Equatorial Telescope for over 160 years and it's played a pivotal role in unraveling the mysteries of our universe. The Great Equatorial Telescope is still on display and is one of only three telescopes from the original Royal Observatory that are still in existence.

It's getting a little bit tatty, but it still has its pride and joy lens — which sports a coating made from Welsh gold. Located in Greenwich, the Great Equatorial Telescope is the only surviving part of one of the oldest buildings on site. Commissioned in 1769 by King George III, and designed by Sir William Herschel, it was originally built to view the Planet Uranus. The telescope remains a focal point of the historic Avenue of Astronomy where it is housed and can be toured as part of an hour-long tour.

The Great Equatorial Telescope is the oldest functioning telescope in the world, and one of the largest ever built. Its cast iron tube measures 18 feet and each of the 7 meter long sectors is composed of two massive lenses devised by Herschel himself. These massive lenses were used to grind the mirrors for many other telescopes after they were replaced by more modern ones in 1893. You've seen photos of the Great Equatorial Telescope, and it might look like an old relic that’s just sitting around up there in Greenwich.

5. Visit Flamsteed House

Flamsteed House is a Grade 1 listed building, located in Greenwich. The house was built in 1676 by Sir John Moore, for his sister. In 1690 King William III gave the house to ‘My Lord Flamsteed’ Sir John Flamsteed the first Astronomer Royal. Since then the house has been home to 27 different Astronomers Royal. It became a museum in 1948 and has received £5 million of grant funding since then. As well as being a historic building, the museum houses most of the 7,000 astronomical charts made by Flamsteed and his team.

Flamsteed House is the birthplace of British Astronomy. In the grounds of this beautiful house lies the oldest surviving purpose built observatory in Britain, the first telescopes and the first accurate star chart. Let me take you on a journey through space and time to discover our nation's stargazing heritage and to explore just who was this mysterious man, John Flamsteed?. Every visitor to Greenwich is impressed with Flamsteed House, the 17th Century home of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal (1675-1719).

The building is an historical gem of red brick and white stone. Inside you see stately formal rooms filled with period furniture and decorations dating from 1600 to 1900. Looking for an alternative to the Science Museum? This is also free, and just around the corner.  The Astronomers Royal were housed here for centuries while they studied in Greenwich. (You can still visit their workplace Flamsteed House). Flamsteed House is the headquarters of the Astronomer Royal.

6. Explore The Camera Obscura

What you do not see is deceptive, what you do not hear is powerful. To appreciate space, we need to pay attention to space.  In this blog post, I will first analyze the original panorama image of London available at The Guardian's website. Then I will use a simple programming language called Python to construct my own moving panorama. Finally, I will conclude with how we can use panoramas in our everyday life. Here it is: a stunning virtual camera obscura, which can be viewed in full-screen mode.

Taken with a mobile camera from the roof of the Old Royal Naval College on Flamstead Road, Greenwich. It shows St Pauls Cathedral in the background, with trees and boats as foreground. There's also an interactive, 9 foot tall projection of the image that you can walk around, using your mouse. There’s a fascinating new interactive exhibit at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich: The Camera Obscura, which is housed inside a replica of the first Camera Obscura, produced by John Wollaston.

The exhibit opens in October 2017 and will be available to visit each day from 10am-5pm until May 2018. The Royal Observatory has been the home of the prime meridian since 1851 and a time-keeping institution for over 200 years. The Camera Obscura focuses on the wonders of engineering, astronomy and history. Through this site one can experience the lives of the first four Astronomers Royal, Matthew, Halley, Bradley and Maskelyne. One from a bygone era.

7. Get Astronomical In The Octagon Room

The Octagon is the only remaining part of the original building, designed by Christopher Wren in 1676 for the society. It was used for meetings with natural philosophers as a small theatre and lecture hall, as well as an observatory. In 1757-58 new domed skylights were created above the old openings to illuminate the 'dark closet', which housed telescopes and other instruments capable of displaying particular celestial calculations. The last instrument being in use until 1836, it was not necessary to demolish the building to expand the museum.

The Astronomer Royal can be seen in a painting at the centre of the vaults below. Wren, in his capacity as President of the Royal Society from 1680-1700, amassed a world-class collection of scientific instruments. The collection was displayed for the first time as part of the Great Exhibition in 1851, and the room was remodelled specifically to show it off to best effect. The other best thing about this is that now the Octagon Room is open to the public on Tuesdays afternoons.

The Octagon Room is the smallest at Hampton Court Palace. It was built in the 17th century and was originally part of Henry VIII’s Observatory. Astronomers using this space would have likely used these astronomical instruments to measure angles, star positions, and other scientific data for navigation. The Octagon Room is the only surviving part of the original Reading Observatory. It was used by the Astronomer Royal from 1845 until 1890. The Great Equatorial Telescope was the largest of its kind in the world a mighty 48 feet long.

9.Tell The Time Using The Shepherd Clock

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the storming of The Sheep Gate in 1910, this beautiful Shepherd Gate Clock is a perfect gift for you and your family.   This clock measures 29’’ x 16’’ x 5. 5’’ and features a strong quartz movement, with brass hardware and hands. Showing Central Standard Time (CST) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), this delightful clock will be sure to give friends, family members, and co-workers the correct time when they ask “What time is it?”.

This exclusive Shepherd Gate Clock provides accurate mean time because it is calibrated to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In Greenwich, England, at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Prime Meridian position was established in 1884 as the official standard for time keeping across the world. By using this clock, you can actually tell the time in GMT and compare it to your local time – but more about that later. If you’re looking for a way to supplant the ancient sundial, this Shepherd Gate Clock could be just what you need.

This design was presented to the British Parliament in 1786 by our, er, shepherd lord general and is the first clock of its kind to ever show Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to the public. This is the Shepherd Gate Clock a. k. a. the first clock to ever show Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to the public. In 1820, this clock was given to King George IV by the inventor William Arnold Shepherd and became one of the most popular of its time.

1. Stand Astride The Historic Meridian Line

Greenwich Park is sitting right on the Prime Meridian of the world and is one of the best places on Earth to stand astride this historic line. Located in west London, Greenwich Park is filled with beautiful scenery and hosts a number of great attractions. If you visit Greenwich Park, try to make it there by 10 o'clock that's when you can stand astride the Meridian and experience your own mini-Daylight Saving Time.

After standing astride the Meridian, head over to Cutty Sark, one of London’s most famous maritime landmarks. This clipper is instantly recognizable thanks to its distinctive shape as it sails through the sea. Cutty Sark was named after an old Scottish saying: “Fit as a. The Prime Meridian is the 180-degree line that divides the globe into east and west hemispheres and passes through Greenwich, the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The Prime meridian was established in 1884 at Greenwich, despite Paris, France having been the major centre of chronometry for centuries.

The London Meridian attracts thousands of people every year. The best time to visit is around midday when you can stand on the line while the sun passes overhead. On the north bank of the Thames River in Greenwich, there is a line. That line forms the Prime Meridian of the world — and you can stand astride it! Today, the line is buried inside a circular spot where timepieces and chronometric devices are set to GMT for the exact longitude of 0°.

N ote: Those who go on trip to London should be sure to visit Museum of The Order Of St John and England’s Maritime Museum as well. The Prime Meridian of the World is located here, the zero degree longitude, which passes through Greenwich, England and it is the point from which all other time zones are measured.  A National Geographic traveler calls the Greenwich Meridian Line “one of the most important focal points on Earth” – and you can stand astride it.

If there is one thing that defines the United Kingdom, it is history. Every part of this country has played its role in shaping Britain as you know it today. No single site better encompasses this than Greenwich, located right on the prime meridian at 0˚ longitude. At the Prime Meridian of the World, near Greenwich, you can stand with one foot in the west and one in the east. The team that built this monument to time will explain the significance of Greenwich's longitude to seafarers, merchants, astronomers, and scientists.

2. Visit The World-Famous Harrison Clocks

Harrison Clocks   is a website by Tony Sarner that gives you an insight into the life of John Harrison, the man who invented the marine chronometer and changed nautical navigation forever. You can read about John Harrisons epic race to solve this problem and admire the craftsmanship of some of his most famous creations. There are also 3 short films by Tony which tell us more about this remarkable man. If you're in London, don't miss a visit to Harrison Clocks, world famous makers of clocks.

You will also see the original Harrison 9ft great timekeeper H4,the first model to show longitude. This clock made by John and James Harrison is breathtaking in its complexity and intricate workmanship. Also you can find the famous Harrison ship captains watch H5. (Photo: ©Harrison Clocks). You’ll learn about John Harrison, the race to solve the Longitude Problem and the world-famous Harrison Clocks, including H1, H2, H3 and H4. You'll also be able to buy souvenirs, if you're into that kind of thing.

3. Get To Know The Stars In The Peter Harrison Planetarium

You’ll be up close and personal with the stars in our 360-degree celestial dome. We show all kinds of astronomical shows in the planetarium including basic star gazing, constellations, origins of outer space and far off galaxies, and even showing how to recognise planets, stars and other objects in the night sky with our new mobile Planetarium App. To top that off we take you on an incredible journey through the history of earth, exploring planets throughout our galaxy and beyond.

Stargaze as if you were an astronaut in one of our planetarium shows, complete with authentic programmable simulation software. Or, learn about the distances to stars by "traveling" in our state-of-the art Einstein's Universe digital theater. For over forty years we have provided the scientific knowledge and technological expertise to make your day at the zoo remarkable! We are located in the center of the zoo next to the camel exhibit. The Peter Harrison Planetarium is the only one of its kind in Canada and offers an immersive earth & space science education experience.

4.Marvel At The Great Equatorial Telescope

It's time to marvel at the Great Equatorial Telescope (GET), one of four research telescopes at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. The GET was first installed at the RGO in 1876, but quickly outgrew its home, as precise corrections to its support structures were essential for successful precision observations. This led to one of the most interesting relocation projects in history, as the GET was dismantled, and sent by sea to Greenwich via a specially-constructed slipway.

This happened in 1893, when the RGO moved to Herstmonceux Castle. When I was in primary school, I wanted to be an astronomer. In hindsight, that career would have required me to go to an observatory.  So, here I am! The ROG hosts a historic Great Equatorial Telescope, which is the third largest refracting telescope in the world. It hasn't been used for observing since 1998 but still adds character and sense of wonder to those who visit.

This telescope was also used by Edmond Halley (of comet fame) when he worked at the ROG from 1693-98. There's always more to learn about the cosmos, so come visit one of the largest telescopes of its kind in the world which discovered Pluto in 1930. The Great Equatorial Telescope was installed at the historic Royal Observatory Greenwich (London) in 1893 and was instrumental in many of the early astronomical discoveries. The Great Equatorial Telescope (GXT) is one of the largest telescopes of its kind in the world.

It took 6 years to build, from 1889 to 1894, with some 19th century technology, but it was once regarded as one of the best telescopes in the world. The Great Equatorial Telescope was built by George Graham in 1749. It was the largest telescope at the time, and this advanced design of its time made it possible to study the Milky Way’s shape. Learn about the history of the Great Equatorial Telescope and marvel at one of the largest telescopes of its kind in the world.

5. Visit Flamsteed House

Flamsteed House is a location that has been associated with the Royal Astronomical Society for many years. After a recent renovation, we are pleased to be able to open this historic site to the public. The house provides an insight into the lives of those who lived and worked here through displays in all four original reception rooms, linking it firmly to the present day as home to The Astronomer Royal, Her Majesty’s Personal Astronomer and Director of the Greenwich Observatory.

Flamsteed House (or the Royal Greenwich Observatory) is located off the northern end of Greenwich Park in Kent, England. Named after John Flamsteed the first Astronomer Royal, it is where he lived and did some of his work. It is also where a few other astronomers lived and worked, but I won't go into detail about each of these people or their work. Instead I'll focus on the site and how to see it. Flamsteed House is a fascinating example of how to balance the modern with history.

It's full of exhibitions, interactive displays and events that bring the story of Greenwich to life.  Don't miss the free guided tour, which takes in some of Greenwich's finest mansions. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall features an exhibit that shows off Flamsteed House. This is where the Astronomers Royal lived from 1676 onwards and is now a museum. It has been preserved so you can see what the house was like for centuries. Flamsteed House is a grade 1 listed building, and the most complete surviving example of a Georgian town house and observatory in Britain.

It was home to John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, and his predecessors from 1704 to 1972. The view from outside Flamsteed House is of a typical small town side street. But behind the gates, in the narrow back garden, there are also houses, a church and pub. The shows are run by volunteers, all graduate or post-graduate astronomers associated with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Edmonton Centre (RASC). Hear about the science of astronomy in a fun and entertaining way.

6. Explore The Camera Obscura

In the 1700s, a camera obscura (Latin for "darkened room" or "dark chamber") was used to make images of the outside world appear upside down and reversed (called an image in "camera"), hence the term "camera" being applied to the device. The early Italian scientist Giovanni Battista della Porta built the first camera obscura from a darkened room in his home in 1558. King Charles I later commissioned architect Inigo Jones to create one for use at the Palace of Whitehall.

By 1790, this camera had been moved to Greenwich, and it remained there until 1879 when it was transported from its temporary location at the Royal Observatory to a new building at its present site, which is called the De. No wonder why my eyes hurt when I tried to move. I was staring at something bright without blinking, which wasn’t good for me. Good thing there are uses for the Camera Obscurawhich will help with my problem.

Wecan use it to make paintings, print pictures, and copy plates. It can make outdoor images from an interior location shoot indoors, as well as copy and enlarge printed materials. Ijust needed a lens, a plate holder or box, any length of wood about six inches wide and five feet long set vertically, lightproof room or box, and a whole lot of patience. Powerful photo-mapping techniques have always fascinated me. They are awesome ways of creating interactive stitched panoramas that feel real when you walk around in them.

The camera obscura is a natural phenomenon, but one which has been used by humans to create super high resolution imagery for hundreds of years. They were even used by Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilee (among others) to produce some of their studies of the solar system, so I guess that makes this Camera Obscura an interactive variation on a tried and tested scientific concept :). As you walk into the Museum, the Lens will remain still and the picture will slowly come into focus onto the wall in front of you.

The Camera Obscura has to be one of my favourite things to visit whilst in Greenwich. It’s such a cool experiment, and I was really impressed with how easy it was to set up originally. The Camera Obscura at the Royal Observatory is at the heart of a world-class science and education centre. Explore the fascinating history and science of the Camera Obscura, which has been housed at the site for over 300 years. Check out our events to see when one of our shows is coming up.

7. Get Astronomical In The Octagon Room

The Octagon Room is a fascinating place to learn more about astronomy and the careers opening up in this area of science. The Octagon Room has been used for centuries, to study the stars and the solar system. Inside there are displays showing how they used to study the movement of the planets, and also display some of the telescopes that were used by astronomers in past times. The Octagon Room is part of Greenwich’s oldest building, so it’s definitely worth a visit to learn more about this area.

Saving the best for last, you can't leave Greenwich Observatory without a trip to its Octagon Room. Here you can marvel at extraordinary models made during the 18th century, like the 'Great Model'of our solar system consisting of over 1000 wooden balls. While you're there, take a look at the ten models of Earth that were used for World War 1 mapmaking, and learn about Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). You'll also find a beautiful mural featuring a celestial map on the walls.

The sleek Octagon Room at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, was a scientific think tank 200 years ago. It featured some of the best telescopes in the world, mounted on an equatorial clock. Despite its relatively small size, it became the best place in Britain to study astronomy. The Octagon Room is an example of Christopher Wren's genius and his passion for using science to inform planning and construction of buildings and churches. It is a unique room in a unique building which shows that Wren was a man ahead of his time.

There is a secret, and hidden room inside the Christopher Wren designed Octagon Room in Oxford. This is one of my favourite places to visit when I head to Oxford, and not only because it's also the location of the Sheldonian Theatre. Built under Roger's supervision in 1675, the Octagon Room is an interesting example of early Baroque architecture. There are several astronomical instruments on display, and you can see how they worked via some interactive models.

9.Tell The Time Using The Shepherd Clock

The Shepherd Gate Clock,  also known as the Beatty's Gate Clock was at one time the most accurate clock in England. This 17th century clock is one of an apparently unique pair and consists of a marble pedestal with an internally rotating 12-spoke iron dial plate supporting a bale bearing stone ball with hands. It is said to be the first public clock to show GMT to the public, although there were other clocks that showed GMT on request before this (although whether they were publicly visible is another matter).

The reason why GMT was special, and continues to be in the 21st century is that it represents the point at which all longitude lines meet, so it's literally halfway around the world from everywhere it's exactly. Carrying the distinction of being 'the first gate clock at which the public could read the time'when it was unveiled in 1851, Shepherd Gate Clock in Kensington Gardens is a beloved landmark. Happily preserved to this century, Shepherd Gate Clock shows Greenwich Mean Time next to a stylishly retro face; as well as the four cardinal points of the compass.

Details from top: sunrise and sunset times; phases of the Moon; and astronomical information are printed on a small card that can be pulled out and studied further. The Shepherd Gate Clock was the first clock to display the time in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to the public, and can now be yours. When it was installed in the gatehouse of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in 1833, GMT was a new way of telling the time by taking out all reference to local variation.

The time could now be read from anywhere in the country – no more local watches required. Created by Charles Shepherd in 1852. Shepherd was the first to show a clock face showing GMT to the public at the World's Fair in the Crystal Palace, London. Each Shepherd clock continues to be the most accurate mechanical time piece available today. The statue now resides at the Greenwich Royal Hospital, and Shepherd Gate Clockmakers continue their precision trade.

The Shepherd Gate Clock is the first clock to ever display GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). The Shepherd Gate clock features a reversible face, meaning you can choose to have the clock face show the time like any other or you can reverse it and see what the time would be in Greenwich. It was used to chart and study the universe. But fewer are familiar with his home, the tiny market town of Colwich in Staffordshire.