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.


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


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

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

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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.

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


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


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


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