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24May 7.30PM FREE

Talk

The Pavilion

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Watery Lane
Newchurch
(opposite Thompson’s Nursery)

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The Rise and fall of the Herstmonceux Observatory - Keith Brackenborough

The Royal Greenwich Observatory was closed in October 1998 after 300 years. Why was it started at Greenwich ?  Why was it necessary to move it in 1946 to a small village in Sussex with a decidedly French-sounding name. 

Why to a 15th Century castle ?  What is the history of the castle  and why did it take 10 years for the observatory to  to move in!   Also in 1946 it was decided to build a massive new telescope - The Isaac Newton Reflector.  Why did it take 19 years to complete this project and why, after just 11 years at Herstmonceux ,  was it moved again to La Palma.

This is a talk compiled from talking to people who worked at the observatory. Some of the research made at the observatory will be described.  What of professional astronomy now in the UK now we have lost our national observatory.

Keith Brackenborough has been interested in Astronomy since he was 12 years old. He has been Chairman of the Croydon Astronomical Society and is now the Vice Chairman of the Eastbourne society.  He was one of the founders of the Southern Area Group of Astronomical  Societies. He is an honorary member of the British Astronomical Association. He has spoken to Vectis on two previous occasions.

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