Armagh Observatory

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Armagh Observatory
Armagh Observatory 1883b-s.jpg
North face of the buildings (c. 1883)
Code 981  
Location Armagh, Northern Ireland
Coordinates 54°21′11″N 6°39′00″W / 54.353152°N 6.64997°W / 54.353152; -6.64997Coordinates: 54°21′11″N 6°39′00″W / 54.353152°N 6.64997°W / 54.353152; -6.64997
Established 1789 (1789)

Armagh Observatory is a modern astronomical research institute with a rich heritage, based in Armagh, Northern Ireland. Around 25 astronomers are based there, studying stellar astrophysics, the Sun, Solar System astronomy and Earth's climate.

The Observatory is located close to the centre of the city of Armagh, adjacent to the Armagh Planetarium in approximately 14 acres (57,000 m2) of landscaped grounds known as the Armagh Astropark, and was founded in 1789 by Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh.

Ernst Julius Öpik (grandfather of Lembit Öpik MP) was based here for over 30 years and among his many contributions to astrophysics he wrote of the dangers of an asteroid impacting on the Earth.

There are scale models of the Solar System and the Universe, two sundials and historic telescopes, as well as telescope domes and other outdoor exhibits. The Human Orrery, launched in 2004, is located close to the main Observatory building. The Observatory's specialist library and archives, and collections of scientific instruments and artefacts associated with the development of modern astronomy, represent one of the leading collections of its kind in the British Isles.

List of Directors[edit]

James Archibald Hamilton 1790 - 1815
William Davenport 1815 - 1823
Thomas Romney Robinson 1823 - 1882
John Louis Emil Dreyer 1882 - 1916
Joseph A. Hardcastle 1917
WFA Ellison 1918 - 1936
Eric Mervyn Lindsay 1937 - 1974
Mart de Groot 1976 - 1994
Mark E. Bailey 1995 -

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