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Flights to London England»Tourist Attractions in London» The Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich

The Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich

It was the King Charles II who commissioned the Royal Observatory, Greenwich formerly the Royal Greenwich Observatory or RGO in the year 1675 . During this same year he also created the position of Astronomer Royal. The Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich is situated on a hill in Greenwich Park in Greenwich, London, looking across the River Thames. Today the Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich is home to a museum of astronomical and navigational tools, notably including John Harrison's prize-winning longitude marine chronometer. 28-inch Grubb refracting telescope the largest of its kind in the UK. The Shepherd Clock outside the observatory gate is an early example of an electric slave clock
The GMT or the Greenwich Mean Time was at one time based on the time observations made at Greenwich (until 1954). Thereafter, GMT was calculated from observations made at other observatories which were still active to help others synchronize their clocks to GMT, a time ball was installed by Astronomer Royal John Pond in 1833. It still drops daily to mark the exact moment of 1 p.m. (13:00) year round (GMT during winter and BST during summer).

In the year 1675 the Royal Observatory, Greenwich was founded. In the year 1924 February 5, Hourly time signals (Greenwich Time Signal) from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich were first broadcast. Then in 1948 Astronomer Royal moves to Herstmonceux. During 1957 Royal Observatory completes its move to Herstmonceux, becoming the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO). The Greenwich site becomes the Old Royal Observatory. Again in the year 1990 RGO moves to Cambridge and again in the year 1998 RGO closes. Greenwich site becomes the Royal Observatory, Greenwich again, and is part of the National Maritime Museum.

The Royal Observatory has undergone a spectacular £15 million redevelopment - the Time and Space Project. The project is now complete with new galleries, an education centre, and the centrepiece is a 120-seat, state-of-the-art planetarium. Come and explore for yourself the answers to 'big questions'!

  • Peter Harrison Planetarium

  • Weller Astronomy Galleries

  • Lloyd's Register Educational Trust Learning Centre

  • Royal Observatory & UK Astronomy



  • Tourist Attractions in London