Durham University Observatory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Durham Observatory
Durham Observatory.jpg
Observatory front view
Durham University Observatory is located in Durham, England
Durham University Observatory
Location within Durham, England
General information
Type Observatory
Location Potters Bank, Durham
Coordinates 54°46′05″N 1°35′10″W / 54.768°N 1.586°W / 54.768; -1.586
Construction started 1839
Completed 1840
Owner Durham University
Design and construction
Architect Anthony Salvin

The Durham University Observatory is a weather observatory owned and operated by the University of Durham. It is a Grade II listed building[1] located at Potters Bank, Durham and was founded in 1839 initially as an astronomical and meteorological observatory (owing to the need to calculate refraction from the air temperature) by Temple Chevallier, until 1937 when the observatory moved purely to meteorological recording.[2]

The observatory's current Director is Professor Tim Burt of the Geography Department, who is also Master of Hatfield College.

After the Radcliffe Observatory, Durham has the longest unbroken meteorological record of any University in the UK, with records dating back to the 1840s,[3] principally due to the work of Gordon Manley in creating a temperature record that would be comparable to Oxford's.[4] At present the observatory contributes to the Met Office's forecasts by providing automated records.

Former observers[edit]


  1. ^ "Durham Observatory". Heritage Gateway. Retrieved 3 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Documentation Preserved – Spr. 1998
  3. ^ Weather > Home ( DNN 3.0.12 )
  4. ^ http://www.geography.dur.ac.uk/projects/weather/TheHistory/tabid/2212/Default.aspx The Observatory's History
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Durham University: Earlier Foundations and Present Colleges, Fowler, Joseph Thomas (1904)" (PDF). Kessinger Publishing. Retrieved 25 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "The History of Astronomy in the University of Durham from 1835 TO 1939". ROYAL ASTRON. SOC. QUARTERLY JOURNAL V. 21, P. 369, 1980. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Durham University Observatory and its meteorological record". Weather. 62: 265–269. doi:10.1002/wea.86. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 

External links[edit]