The main goal of today’s outing was to see the observatory and stand on the Meridian. That we did. It’s a hoof to the observatory from the Maritime Museum (which we spent minimal time in because it’s mostly geared to children).
The path to the observatory was through the beautiful park and up a long and quite steep walkway.
Voila- the observatory, finally, huff puff puff puff.
The exhibits inside are largely devoted to the development of navigation and time keeping instruments. Mr. EOS was on camera duty for this venue and was so enthralled he forgot to take photos of much. Boooo Hissss.
Among the many displays of time keeping devices is this, the third of four gizmos developed by Mr. John Harrison to enable accurate measurement of time at sea.
We lost the photo Mr. EOS took – it’s on the camera but it won’t transfer to the iPad so this photo is one we found online.
His device mitigates the effects of ship movement on accuracy thereby enabling greater precision in navigation. So basically if you know the time in Greenwich and you know the time in your location at sea, you know your position with respect to the lines of longitude.
The Prime Meridian is zero, the starting point. Here are peeps taking selfies with one foot in each hemisphere. If they checked their GPS location, they would find they were about 100 meters off because the GPS was developed using better data points.
The Shepherd Gate Clock is mounted on the wall outside the gate of the RGO. It’s an early example of an electric clock, probably the first to display Greenwich Mean Time to the public and is unusual in using the 24-hour analog dial.
From the RGO website:
From 1852 to 1893, the Sheoherd master clock was the heart of Britain’s time system. It’s time we sent by telegraph to lockdown and many other UK cities. By 1866, time signals were sent to Harvard University via the new transatlantic submarine cable. In terms of the distribution of accurate time into everyday life, it is one of the most important clocks ever made.
Speaking of time boys and girls, we are all out of it for this trip. We’re packing up and mentally gearing for an eight hour flight stateside tomorrow knowing we neither have a balcony nor a butler but maybe in a nod to the QM2 voyage, we’ll fly wearing a tuxedo and ball gown and see if we get any strange looks.
Thanks for coming along. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. I could be cranky tomorrow so bear with me.
THE EOS TRAVEL TEAM