Greenwich, England. The Prime Meridian

After a short walk from the pier, we climbed up to the Royal Observatory.

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The Shepherd 24-hour Gate Clock: This is one of the earliest electrically driven public clocks.  It was installed here in 1852.  The dial always shows Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).  In summer Britain converts to British Summer Time (BST), which is an hour ahead of GMT, and the clock then appears an hour “slow.”  

Being a 24-hour clock, the hour hand marks noon (XII) at the bottom of the dial and midnight at the top (0).  The time shown is accurate to 0.5 of a second. 

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Public Standards of Length: These British Imperial Standards were first mounted outside the Observatory main gates, some time before 1866 to enable the public to check measure of length.

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The Meridian Observatory: Astronomers worked in this observatory, viewing the skies and mapping the stars.  The first astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, made his observations from a small brick shed that was expanded to a larger building later in time.

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There are so many ways to be right in the middle… right here we are in the Prime Meridian.  Where the world is divided into East and West, with this imaginary line.  Except here, where the line is right under our feet.  A wonderful visual.

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One on each side of the world…

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You can see the (imaginary) line.

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You just had to think what it means to be in the middle of the world, in the globe… each foot on each hemisphere.  One on the East and one on the West.  We don’t get to do this very often.  A fun memory.

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It is just so exciting to be right smack in the middle of the world (at least lengthwise!)

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This entry was posted in England, family, history + geography, homeschooling, travels. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Greenwich, England. The Prime Meridian

  1. Glendie says:

    Very cool, fun, interesting!

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