A historic setting for the future of astronomy

Royal Observatory, Edinburgh Open Days

As part of the 2005 Edinburgh Doors Open Day the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh will be opening its doors to the public on 24th and 25th September (10am - 5pm). Come and catch talks, demonstrations and exhibits and discover how our historic site on Blackford Hill is evolving to accommodate state-of-the-art technology and purpose built facilities for astronomy.

This is the one opportunity in the year to go 'behind the scenes' at Scotland's world class astronomical establishment. Admission to the Open Days is free and includes entry to the Visitor Centre.

Highlights of this year's programme include:

Talks: Professional astronomers and engineers will be giving talks. Titles include:

The Starlab Planetarium: Watch the movement of stars and galaxies across the sky. Shows will be run regularly all day.

Comet Making Demonstrations: Witness the birth of a steaming, fizzing comet, with all the ingredients of the real thing.

SCUBA-2: Come and see the biggest instrument we have ever built which will weigh in at 4 tonnes. When it is sent to Hawaii next year, SCUBA-2 will be able to penetrate clouds of cosmic dust to see the composition of comets, the birthplaces of stars and the most distant galaxies.


1894 Observatory Building

The original Observatory building.

Notes to Editors

1. The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh comprises the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) of the University of Edinburgh and the ROE Visitor Centre.

2. The Royal Observatory expects up to 2000 visitors over the two Open Days.

3. The Edinburgh Doors Open Days gives public access to 70 buildings in Edinburgh.

4. The Royal Observatory Visitor Centre is open throughout the year for pre-booked group visits and special events. The Visitor Centre can be contacted on 0131 668 8404.