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August 1, 2007

Astronomical London

Posted by John Baez

In my recent post on Astronomical Paris, I gave you a tour of L’Observatoire de Paris. Now I’m in Greenwich, a stone’s throw away from the Royal Observatory:

Like the observatory in Paris, this one has a long and glamorous history, from the first Astronomer RoyalJohn Flamsteed, who quarreled with Newton and Halley, and publicly burnt a book they wrote based on his observations without crediting him — to the current one, Martin Rees.

I wrote a bit about the Royal Observatory back in week175. Later, some kind soul offered to give me a tour when I visited next. Now I’d like that very much… I could take photos and give you a comparison tour.

But, I can’t remember who made the offer! It’s very embarrassing.

If anyone feels like showing me the secrets of this observatory, could they drop me a line?

When I was here in the winter of 2001, I saw the Royal Observatory fire a green laser north along the Prime Meridian, presumably to celebrate the arrival of a new millennium. I only saw it at night, but in the day it looked like this:

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Posted at August 1, 2007 3:45 PM UTC

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Re: Astronomical London

Dear John,

it is nice to hear that you are in London. I do not know who offered you a tour previously (it was not me), but I would be delighted to meet you. Actually, I live nearby.

In fact, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich reopened after refurbishment not long ago. I wanted to go there anyway and see the new planetarium.

If you like to meet, please let me know when and where.

Posted by: Andreas Doering on August 1, 2007 4:50 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Astronomical London

Dear Andreas:

It would be great to meet and talk about categories and physics! I’ll be around from Thursday the 2nd of August (today) to Saturday the 4th, then gone to Oslo from the 5th to the 10th, then back until the 18th. I’ll email you about this.

But, my original invitation to visit the Royal Observatory was from somebody who could take me behind the scenes. So, I’m still hoping I can do something like that!

Anyone out there who can help?

Posted by: John Baez on August 2, 2007 9:22 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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