Pioneering astronomers

From the objects and instruments used to explore space to the men who mapped the stars, we provide an insight into some of the most groundbreaking astronomical discoveries of our time and the people who made them happen.

Airy-transit-circle_L2156-002_slider.jpg

The story of Astronomer Royal George Biddell Airy and the remarkable Airy Transit Circle telescope he designed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

BHC2507.jpg

Astronomer George Biddell Airy designed the legendary Airy Transit Circle telescope which defined the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

28 inch Visual Refractor Telescope Royal Observatory L8627-028_tile.JPG

Useful tips from the space experts at the Royal Observatory Greenwich on how to become an astronomer

Galileo Galilei, Niccolo Cecconi.jpg

Galileo pioneered the use of the telescope for observing the night sky. His discoveries undermined traditional ideas about a perfect and unchanging cosmos with the Earth at its centre.

Caroline Herschel.jpg

Caroline discovered eight comets, revised Flamsteed's Star Catalogue, and became the first paid female astronomer in history.

tsiolkovsky.jpg

John Goodricke and Konstantin Tsiolkowski, both deaf, were among the most remarkably gifted of astronomers.

flea.jpg

Neither the smallest nor the largest objects in the known Universe escaped the brilliant Hooke’s attention.

Airy-BHC2507_detail.jpg

George Biddell Airy was Astronomer Royal for much of the 19th century and he amassed a treasure trove of data.