Royal Observatory Greenwich

Whether it's observing the stars, standing astride the Prime Meridian or marvelling at John Harrison's timepieces, the Royal Observatory Greenwich provides a treasure trove of fascinating information. Read all about the history of space, time and navigation, plus find out more about the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

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Find out more about how the Royal Observatory was founded, and its fascinating role in British history.

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For the first time in over 360 years, compasses at Greenwich are set to point true north. But what does this mean - and haven't compasses always pointed 'north'? 

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From when it was founded to how it became the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), find out the essentials about the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

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The Astronomer Royal is the best-known and most prestigious post in astronomy with illustrious forebears such as Flamsteed and Halley.

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In 1894 international terrorism made its UK debut just outside the Royal Observatory. It created a gory mess and an enduring mystery.

Sir Christopher Wren

Best known for designing St. Paul's Cathedral, Christopher Wren's two loves of astronomy and architecture were combined when he worked on the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

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Edmond Halley set out to sea to use magnetism as a possible solution to the problem of determining longitude.

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

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

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The Great Equatorial Telescope at the Royal Observatory kept Britain at the forefront of astrophysics and greatly expanded our knowledge of stars.

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