Flamsteed Astronomy Society

Farewell to the Caird Planetarium

August 24, 2004

page 1 of 2

There was an excellent turnout for our last FAS visit to the Caird Planetarium in the ROG South Building.   The old Planetarium will be closed at the end of October when re-development of the South Building starts as part of the NMM/ROG Time and Space Project.


The ROG’s John Griffiths (left) gave us a super tour of the late-August night sky including many reflections on the history of the Planetarium and the foibles of the equipment.  The Planetarium was opened in 1966 and is named after Scottish ship-owner and businessman Sir James Caird (1864-1954), primary benefactor of the National Maritime Museum

Pictures:  Mike Dryland

After almost 40 years the machinery stills runs pretty well, give or take a couple of idiosyncrasies.    John shared some sleight-of-hand tricks used to distract the audience while the projector sorts itself out now and again.  In addition to a tour of the August sky visible from the latitudes of London, John pushed his luck and used the projector to take our viewpoint down to the equator and then on to the southern hemisphere latitudes so we could look at the Southern Cross and Magellanic Clouds.


Just before 9pm Ron reminded us we would be locked in the park so there was a general adjournment the Hare & Billet to put the world to rights.  Good to see Franciso Diego again.