top of page
One Hundred and Fifty Years of Astronomy at Orwell Park
One Hundred and Fifty Years of Astronomy at Orwell Park

Thu, 25 Apr

|

Mycenae House

One Hundred and Fifty Years of Astronomy at Orwell Park

By Bill Barton In this presentation Bill will cover the history of the Observatory at Orwell Park Mansion in Suffolk. Starting with the design and building, which involved George Airy (7th Astronomer Royal) and his engineer son, Wilfrid. The early observations undertaken by John Isaac Plummer

Time & Location

25 Apr 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Mycenae House, 90 Mycenae Rd, London SE3 7SE, UK

About the Event

In this presentation Bill will cover the history of the Observatory at Orwell Park Mansion in Suffolk. Starting with the design and building, which involved George Airy (7th Astronomer Royal) and his engineer son, Wilfrid. The early observations undertaken by John Isaac Plummer (who was, at one point, and employee at Greenwich Observatory). The work undertaken by Edward Collinson. Use in wartime. Use by amateur societies.

Bio:

Bill left Secondary School in 1979 with ‘O’ level qualifications. A four year apprenticeship in Signal Engineering with British Rail followed. After thirty-five years service he took early retirement from Networkrail in 2014.

He joined the British Astronomical Association in 1983 and contributed to their Solar Section between 1990 and 2000. He shared his observations with the Solar Division of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Other favourite observing activities include eclipses, transits and planetary conjunctions.

However ‘history’ has always had a strong calling for him and in 2002 he was a founder member of Society for the History of Astronomy. In the same year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2003 saw him licensed to operate the Orwell Park refractor (IAU observatory no. 582) on behalf of the Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich), which he had joined several years earlier.

He has received the SHA Roger Jones award for contributions to their ‘County Survey of Astronomers’ on several occasions.

In January 2020 he was appointed as the Deputy Director of the British Astronomical Association Historical Section.

Bill has a particular soft spot for classic telescopes such as the Carl Zeiss Telementor refractor and the Questar Maksutov Cassegrain. He owns some astronomical antiques, such as eyepiece micrometers, planispheres and similar teaching aids. He has more old astronomy books than he likes to admit to.

Share This Event

Event Info: Events
bottom of page