Sunday 23 May 2021

A Cooke at Greenwich


London Daily News Thursday 8th March 1888

An Addition to Greenwich Observatory.

FLAMSTEED’S famous institution on Greenwich Hill has been crowned with another dome. Nine or ten years ago Professor GREENE of the Polytechnic Institute at Troy, desiring to construct a dome on a somewhat larger scale than usual, found that the heavy metal roof ordinarily set up would require a more substantial structure than he co could conveniently provide, and that powerful of machinery would be necessary for making it revolve. He determined to try what could be re done with papier mache. The experiment was a complete success. His dome proved as strong as though constructed of wood and iron, and so light that it could be turned without machinery of any kind.

Greenwich shortly after had occasion to construct, a dome, and very wisely adopted the new material. The one just now completed is the second constructed during Mr. CHRISTIE'S regime. It is eighteen feet in diameter, and is designed for the Cooke 6-inch equatorial telescope, with a photo-heliograph tube attached to the same mount. This combined instrument is to be carried on a huge as block of stone weighing 3 tons, and will stand at a sufficient elevation above the other buildings and the surrounding trees to command a complete view of the sun throughout in the day.

This is what Greenwich has been unable to do hitherto, and in his last report to the Board of Visitors the ASTRONOMER ROYAL draws attention to the difficulty under which the work of the photo-heliograph has been n carried on in past years owing to the want of such an observatory as he has now succeeded in setting up, though as yet unfortunately the funds for the complete equipment of the new al building are not forthcoming. It has been hinted, by those who certainly are in a position to be well informed, that unless somewhat greater liberality be extended to the Observatory it may become necessary to discontinue the time signals, upon which the country has come to rely almost as implicitly as on the rising and setting of the sun.

It would certainly be a novel sensation for the public to find their supply of Greenwich time cut off, after the manner of the water companies when they cannot get their money. This is certainly rather a formidable screw Mr. CHRISTIE has at command, though it is to be hoped he may not have occasion to apply it to the Treasury. There is no doubt, however, that to stint funds at Greenwich Observatory is very poor policy. Its practical utility in all sorts of ways is simply incalculable.

We may add to what has been stated about the new building, that it is here that Greenwich will take its a share in the projected complete photographic map of the starry heavens.

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