Armagh Observatory Opens Doors for Georgian Day

Observatory

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The Armagh Observatory is opening its doors to the public on Saturday, 30th November as part of the City of Armagh’s Georgian Day celebrations organized by the Armagh City and District Council. Two free, guided tours of the main Observatory building, the Human Orrery and the Astropark will be given, starting respectively at 11:30 and 14:00. Owing to limitations of space, advance booking is recommended.

The Observatory is a modern scientific research institute with a rich heritage. It is located close to the centre of the City of Armagh together with the Armagh Planetarium in approximately 14 acres of attractive, landscaped grounds known as the Armagh Astropark.

The Grounds and Astropark contain scale models of the Solar System and the Universe and a wide range of flora and fauna. Of particular interest is the Grade A Georgian listed building, constructed from 1789, and the world famous Robinson Cup-Anemometer, a device for measuring wind speed, which was invented in the 1840s by the Observatory’s third director, the Revd Dr Thomas Romney Robinson.

There is also the Human Orrery, the first of its kind to show with precision the relative positions of the planets at any time as well as two comets (Halley’s Comet and Encke’s Comet) and the first asteroid, namely Ceres, discovered on the first night of the nineteenth century, 1st January 1801. The Human Orrery has recently been reproduced at a school in Kathmandu, Nepal, as well as in a local primary school in Belfast.

During the Observatory tour you will be able to learn something about the Observatory’s current scientific research and its history, and how the work carried out at Armagh fits into wider programmes of astronomical research carried out by astronomers worldwide.

Those who wish to join the tours should telephone or send an e-mail to the Armagh Visitor Information Centre; Tel: 028-3752-1800; E-mail: ticat signarmagh.gov.uk. Access to the Observatory is from College Hill by the driveway shared with the Armstrong Primary School, close to the Courthouse and opposite the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; mebat signarm.ac.uk.

Last Revised: 2013 November 8th