Wikipedia:Today's featured article/September 18, 2008

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The observatory viewed looking north-northeast

The Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory is a small observatory located on the grounds of the University of Toronto. The original building was constructed in 1840 as part of a worldwide research project run by Edward Sabine to determine the cause of fluctuations in magnetic declination. Measurements from the Toronto site demonstrated that sunspots were responsible for this effect on Earth's magnetic field. When this project ended in 1853, the observatory was taken over by the Canadian government, greatly expanded in 1855, and operated as the primary meteorological station and official Canadian timekeeper for over fifty years. The Observatory is the country's oldest surviving scientific institution, and is considered the birthplace of Canadian astronomy. (more...)

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