Finding the Institute for Astronomy

The Institute for Astronomy is contained within the historic building of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (1893). This is sited on Blackford Hill, to the south of the city, and should not be confused with the pre-1893 Royal Observatory (or City Observatory) on Calton Hill.

Apart from road, the main ways of arriving in Edinburgh are at the airport (to the west) or at Waverley rail station (central). Taxis will bring you direct to Blackford Hill for about 17 pounds (airport) or 6 pounds (rail station).

The observatory main dome is located at 55° 55' 23.5" N, 3° 11' 15.5" W with an error of about 0.5" in both latitude and longitude.

The Observatory is listed at 146m altitude [Wikipedia], but since the site is on a slope with about a 10m difference top to bottom, it is not clear at what point this pertains to. The O/S maps have the 130m contour running through the site, suggesting 146m is perhaps the altitude of the telescope. The British Geological Survey seismograph , locate a floor below the lecture theatre, is listed as 125m.


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