‘John Flamsteed: Derby’s gift to Astronomy, and founder of the Greenwich Observatory’ with Dr Allan Chapman

18/05/2024, 2-4pm

Museum of Making

Silk Mill Lane off Full Street




Museum of Making at Derby Silk has undergone a £18m refurbishment and welcomed its first visitors in May 2021. Derby’s stunning Silk Mill building stands…

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Derby & District Astronomical Society, Dr Allan Chapman discusses the first Astronomer Royal. 

Chapman’s love of the history of astronomy goes back to his youth in Swinton and Pendlebury, Manchester, and he has been familiar with Flamsteed for most of his life.  He edited the ‘Preface’ to Flamsteed’s ‘Historia Coelestis Britannica’ (1725) as originally translated from the Latin by Dione Johnson for the National Maritime Museum, Monograph 52 (1982).  He has long found Flamsteed a fascinating figure, especially in his design and construction of the new telescopic-sighted micrometric astronomical instruments after 1660, first used extensively in the new Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where he became the first Astronomer Royal in1675.  Chapman has personally constructed working replicas of some of Flamsteed’s instruments, including the mural arc and a micrometer and long telescope.”

About Dr Allan Chapman  M.A. D.Dhil. D.Sc. D.Univ.  F.R.A.S:

Allan Chapman is a member of the History Faculty at Oxford University, specialising in the history of science, and over an academic career spanning almost 50 years has taught and supervised hundreds of students, taught on adult education programmes, lectured widely in the UK and abroad, and made two TV series.  He has written 16 books and numerous articles, both academic and popular.  He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Central Lancashire and Salford University, and was selected as ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ of Lancaster University in its 50th anniversary year.  Additionally, he was the Jackson Gwilt Medallist of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2015.

Suitable for those 18 and over.

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