London Stargazers

This event has finished Took place on: Thursday, 6th Sep 2018

Calling all stargazers. To celebrate Astronomy Month at Westminster Library (who are, in an extraordinary initiative, the first library in Europe to lend out telescopes), REBEKAH HIGGITT and ROB ILIFFE join us to chart the stellar lives of two of the greatest astronomers of all time, both of whom practiced their craft right here in London.

Astronomers don't get much more London than EDMOND HALLEY. He was born in October 1656 in Haggerston and died in 1742 in Greenwich. Dr REBEKAH HIGGITT helps us observe the London life of a man who counted John Flamstead, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren and Issac Newton amongst his circle, became a skilled navigator and inventor, improved the diving bell, calculated the orbits of over twenty comets, charted terrestrial magnetism, observed the 1715 eclipse of the sun in London, was appointed Astronomer Royal and was first to predict the return (in 1758) of the comet which bears his name. Phew.

ISAAC NEWTON was without doubt a star amongst men. Possibly the most brilliant and influential scientist who ever lived. When we think of him we usually think of Cambridge, where he discovered the law of gravity but Newton was also a Londoner. He lived in the capital for thirty years and for some of that time, right here on the site of Westminster Library where he built an observatory on the top floor of his house (which at that time offered him a dark and unobstructed view of the heavens). Professor ROB ILIFFE joins us to tell how Newton became interested in astronomy, how he interacted with contemporary astronomers, and how his work was crucial for astronomy in the eighteenth century.

Cost: £9.50

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2018-09-06 2018-09-06 Europe/London London Stargazers A talk about the lives of two of the greatest astronomers of all time, both of whom practiced their craft right here in London. Westminster Arts Library,35 St Martins Street,London,

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