Godlee Observatory, Manchester University

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Trips & Adventures – 23 January 2020

We met at Yates for a lunch time meal. The food was fabulous (although by 12.00 noon they had already run out of jacket potatoes). After an hour or so of incidents and accidents, hints and allegations, laughter, tears and the odd pint, we set off on the short walk to Godlee Observatory.

This can be seen from Sackville Park, and is located in a tower on the roof of one of the University buildings. It was given to the city of Manchester by Francis Godlee when construction was completed in 1902. The dome is constructed out of papier-mâché, and famously survived the bombings during the Second World War.

We met our tour host who for many years has been a regular member of the Manchester Astronomical Society, one of the oldest astronomical societies in the country, having become independent in 1903.

The society meets every Thursday with the aim to encourage the study of astronomy for both the newcomer and seasoned observer alike.

We went up lifts, walked down corridors, went from building extension to original building and eventually reached Floor G of the Sackville Street building. There are meeting rooms where we were entertained by our tour host with his interesting and informative talk. We “caught a falling star” by handling a piece of meteorite which had landed in Brazil over 4,000 years ago.

The highlight was entering the actual observatory, accessed by climbing up a spiral staircase and going through a trap door, and seeing the Godlee double telescope made by Grubb of Dublin.

Lots of fantastic photos can be seen by clicking here

 

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