Monday

Spanning Both Hemispheres

It was an awesome experience at Greenwich, especially when I planted my feet in both the hemispheres!

After changing a couple of trains from East Croydon, we arrived at Greenwich (supposed to be pronounced as Grenich) and followed the directions to Greenwich Park. After checking the maps, we realized that we had to take a short hike to reach the Greenwich Royal Observatory, which hosts THE meridian, which is supposed to divide world into Eastern and Western hemispheres.

Look at the dome that is designed like a crown. Then the view from there is breathtaking. You could see the sprawling lawns of the park and the distant Thames looks so peaceful.

As usual, my camera was working overtime trying to capture as much as possible. The first attraction was the 24 hours clock that records the GMT.

As we are following British Summer Time, now we are ahead of the time shown in this clock by 1 hour! What you see at the bottom is the Royal Imperial Standards set in the late 18th century that shows the accurate measurements for British Yard, Two feet, One feet, six inches and three inches.

When we entered the first room, I noticed a short metal strip on the floor and out of curiosity, I asked the helper over there and she explained that it was the first meridian, identified in the 16th century! Here we go...

 As I was taking this photo, people started queuing up to follow me! When we came out, we heard that there is going to be a short guided tour to explain the history of GMT. Well, the guide was dressed in period costume, she explained the history in a dramatic way and the whole crowd was cheering up:)

We learned that before fixing the meridian to the current position, two different locations were identified.

I can't imagine how the astronomers would have observed the moon and stars in the freezing nights in this no man's land back in the 16th and 17th centuries, where there was no electricity! At the correct location of the meridian, a digital clock that shows accurate time down to the millisecond.

Look at the fascinating meridian strip that marks the position of various countries in both the hemispheres.

Then there was a curio clock that shows time in terms of degrees...

It was fascinating to learn that how Newton tried to publish the results of his junior Flamsteed's findings against the wishes. These were all presented in a well thought interactive display. Time and again, it proves that the well-known and famous take advantage of lesser known geniuses.

3 comments:

De'Little Ones said...

Good post. I like this :)

Vijay said...

We saw the guide with a dramatic action, your photos and explanations brought that guide work in the 'blog form' :-)

Good one.

Vijay Anand

umesh said...

That's nice to see & feel of 18th century history.. great sharing..

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