Rating: 7,6/10 (281 votes)Everyone knows that geographic coordinates on the planet are calculated according to Greenwich Mean Time. The Greenwich meridian was named after the name and location of the famous British observatory. It is easy to imagine what a huge impact the Greenwich Observatory had on astronomy and geography, now it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The old observatory can be found in Greenwich Park. This is a unique place, only here you can be in the east with one foot, and in the west with the other, if you stand on the Greenwich meridian. The Royal Observatory, as it was then called, was established by King Charles II in 1675. It was needed to calculate the longitude reported to sailors lost in the sea. The fact is that on earth, longitude is easily calculated using geodetic instruments. At sea, this could not be done due to the fact that the sea surface does not have distinctive objects - a reference point. This method was the only hope of sailors until the 18th century. Such a major naval power like England, such a scientific achievement was strategically important. Thanks to the work of astronomers by the 19th century, Britain began to lay claim to the world's compiler of accurate maps. By the middle of the century, the need for uniform data to determine longitude became critical. Then at the International Conference on the Problems of Calculating the Meridian, it was decided to consider the meridian of the Greenwich Observatory as the zero meridian. Until now, this meridian is the main one in the whole world. Due to light pollution from the sprawling city, the Greenwich Observatory lost its scientific value and closed in 1998. Now the observatory houses a museum of astronomical and navigational instruments. Here you can see John Harrison's unique marine chronometer"H4", an unrivaledly accurate pendulum astronomical clock, Shepard's electric gate clock, and the largest refractor telescope invented by Howard Grubbm. Above the observatory there is a"ball of time" - a red ball that falls down every day at exactly 13:00. This ball allows you to wind the watch as accurately as possible. Many people ask why the hour of the day was chosen for this, and not noon. The answer is very simple - at noon, scientists observed the sun at its zenith, they had no time for the ball.
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Topic: Greenwich Observatory, UK.