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History of Astronomy - places to visit


michaelmorris
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Can I suggest that we include suggestions and reviews of places in the UK with a connection to the history of astronomy.

I'll start the ball rolling with the excellent Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. Set in the midst of academic Oxford, the museum houses a superb collection of early telescopes, astrolabes, quadrants and other astronomical instruments.  For me, it 's worth the trip just to see John Russell's  magnificent moon map of 1795.

RussellMoon.jpg

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My suggestions would be:

- The Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath:

http://herschelmuseum.org.uk/

You can stand at the spot where Uranus was discovered :cool2:

- The National Space Centre in Leicester:

http://www.spacecentre.co.uk/

All sorts of fascinating stuff there including rockets, hands on meteorites, a real Soyuz capsule and an IMAX theatre :smiley:

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At the moment there is great display on at the Science Museum(London) tracking the progress of the Russian  'race to space'.Includes two actual capsules plus lots of other material.Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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Anyone know if Jodrell Bank is worth a visit (apart from admiring that big bowl shaped thing)?

I'd say yes. It's a modest display but quite interesting. They have a most impressive 'sound telescope' as well. Two distant concrete reflectors face each other, their dishes vertical, and you and a friend each face one so you are now back to back a long distance apart. With your mouth at the right distance from the concrete 'mirror', a point indicated by a metal ring, you are close to the focal point and can now talk to each other easily in quiet voices. It's a brilliant demonstration of the fact that telescopes don't only work in the case of light.

Has anyone mentioned the Royal Observatory Greenwich? That's superb and has the 'Longitude' clocks down below.

Not too far from the meeting place of York AS there's a plaque commemorating John Goodricke, the young astronomer who propsed the notion of eclipsing binaries.

If you're ever down in my neck of the woods (SE France) then the Observatoire de Haute Provence do open tours (in French) of their professional instrument. This discovered the first exoplanet, which is no mean achievement. That was the 51 Pegasi planet.

Olly

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Can I suggest that we include suggestions and reviews of places in the UK with a connection to the history of astronomy.

I'll start the ball rolling with the excellent Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. Set in the midst of academic Oxford, the museum houses a superb collection of early telescopes, astrolabes, quadrants and other astronomical instruments.  For me, it 's worth the trip just to see John Russell's  magnificent moon map of 1795.

RussellMoon.jpg

Thank you for suggesting this. Went there today. Some really interesting stuff. Suddenly have the urge to make a brass instrument.

cheers

gaj

Edited by gajjer
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Can I suggest that we include suggestions and reviews of places in the UK with a connection to the history of astronomy.

I'll start the ball rolling with the excellent Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. Set in the midst of academic Oxford, the museum houses a superb collection of early telescopes, astrolabes, quadrants and other astronomical instruments.  For me, it 's worth the trip just to see John Russell's  magnificent moon map of 1795.

RussellMoon.jpg

One of my local museums - I always think how lucky we are when we visit   :icon_biggrin:

Some of Herschel's early telescopes and yes, that Moon map - beautiful and HUGE!

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How about a visit to the Astronomy Centre http://astronomycentre.org.uk/ We have a large array of telescopes comprising Newtonians from 114mm - 760mm, refractors from 50mm - 220mm, solar Ha telescopes from 40mm - 150mm and binocular telescopes from 102mm - 300mm. From a historical point of view we have a 205mm Camera Obscura, a 200 year old 76mm brass refractor and the Centre although founded only 35 years ago it seems like a lifetime to me!  :icon_biggrin:

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http://www.the-observatory.org/index.php in Herstmonceux East Sussex is worth a visit for both adults and kids. Nice range of scopes to look at and plenty of activities for the kids to play with. They also run a lot of courses.

Not been but http://www.winchestersciencecentre.org/ also looks like a lot of fun especially for the kids with loads of interactive exhibits. Also a planetarium. 

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