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.

Anarchism-Greenwich-Park-The-Graphic.jpg

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

L5966.jpg

Curator Louise Devoy looks back to Margaret Maskelyne, daughter of the fith Astronomer Royal, who drew watercolours of both the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House.

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.

James Bradley.jpg

As we prepare for the Transit of Mercury here at the Royal Observatory our curator, Louise Devoy, looks back to observations made here in 1753.

Edmond Halley by Sir Godfrey Kneller (detail).jpg

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

Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-92)

Within the Caird Library’s collection of rare books is the personal library of the seventh Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy. It features a plethora of scientific and astronomical research, as well as some of the Library’s most historically significant works such as Copernicus’s influential De revolutionibus orbium coelestium and Flamsteed’s controversial Historiae coelestis, which was published without his consent.

flea.jpg

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

Annie Scott Dill Maunder (née Russell) by Lafayette 1931 © National Portrait Gallery, London (tile).jpg

Working in astronomy has always been a challenge for women but somehow they’ve managed to contribute in their own way, whether it’s observing directly themselves or recording and analysing data from other astronomers. Others contributed by writing popular books and developing education materials to share the subject with others. Their work has long been overshadowed by their male counterparts but in this blog I’d like to focus on one particular female astronomer who worked here at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, during the 1890s and whose story really encapsulates the struggles faced by women in astronomy at the time.

Airy-BHC2507_detail.jpg

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

Mariner's compass (square).jpg

In September 2019, for the first time in over 360 years, compasses at Greenwich pointed true north. But what does this mean - and haven't compasses always pointed 'north'? 

Pages