With the advent of cheap air travel in the sixties it became feasible for astronomers to travel to other observatories in order to use telescopes in the best possible locations. With its unique arrangement of domes around a central bastion the Equatorial Group was one of the most important government commissioned building projects of its period. On the Thompson 26-inch telescope, for example, the night observer's job was to line up the telescope on a succession of specified points in the sky, working from a prearranged list of ‘shots', and to load in a photographic plate for each shot and expose it for a time that usually ranged from five minutes up to an hour or more. By the early twentieth century, London had expanded so much that Greenwich was enveloped. As a result many sailors' lives were lost when their ships struck rocks unexpectedly. In particular they began to do research, studying the stars and other objects in the sky, to find out what they are and how they work. King Charles II spurred the creation of the Royal Observatory. We use cookies to support your experience on our site. The Admiralty took over the funding of the Observatory from the Board of Ordnance in 1818 and it remained Admiralty funded until 1965 when the Science Research Council (SRC) was formed and brought the funding of all UK astronomy under the same umbrella. Read more about the Royal Observatory time ball. The city's smoky air and bright lights meant that astronomers could no longer study faint objects in the night sky. An extensive programme of repair and upgrading of the buildings and telescopes was completed in 2004 with the aid of a substantial grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (Royal Greenwich Observatory or 'RGO') was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II.. At this time the king also created the position of Astronomer Royal, for John Flamsteed, to serve as the director of the observatory.. In the nearly 300 years it functioned as a working observatory, there were only nine other Astronomers Royal at Greenwich. The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. As early as the nineteenth century, observing conditions in London had deteriorated markedly. The original purpose therefore was to determine longitude by producing accurate star maps. At that time mariners had no accurate way of working out their position when out of sight of land. To be able to learn about maritime and its history was amazing. TripAdvisor Traveller Rating Based on 3,472 reviews Stand on the world-famous Meridian Line with one foot in the west and one foot in the east at the Royal Observatory. At exactly 13.00, it drops. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG; [1] known as the Old Royal Observatory from 1957 to 1998, when the working Royal Greenwich Observatory, RGO, moved from Greenwich to Herstmonceux) is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich … Eventually, the decision was taken to establish a major overseas observatory in the northern hemisphere and to move the INT there, where it could be put to better use.  In 1979 the telescope was dismantled, removed from its dome and completely refurbished before being installed on top of an extinct volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma in 1984. Alternatively he could use the Moon as a clock by measuring its position in the sky, relative to nearby stars, and referring to a detailed set of tables prepared annually at Greenwich. The essential work of measuring time and compiling tables went on from year to year, and the Greenwich astronomers developed new interests too. The Admiralty had in principle approved the move by 1944 and over 70 possible sites were considered. 43 Reviews. The balconies and window surrounds finished in Portland stone; the terrace paved in Yorkstone with Portland stone steps and edgings. Absolutely worth it. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich is a lovely place for the day trip in London. In 1990, following a downsizing, it moved to Cambridge where it remained until it was closed down by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) in … It was against this background that King Charles II appointed a Royal Commission to look into investing in astronomy. at ↑ … In the 1920s nearby train lines were electrified which interfered with the Magnetic Observatory and this department had to be relocated to Abinger. Each year Herstmonceux Castle was the venue for a major conference attracting top astronomers from all over the world. 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