2019 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Scottish Astronomer Royal and polymath, Charles Piazzi Smyth. This special exhibition presents the story of this extraordinary man, whose pioneering work at Calton Hill changed the practice of astronomy across the world.

In 1856, Piazzi Smyth and his wife Jessie left the murky Edinburgh skies for the peaks of Tenerife to demonstrate the benefits of observing the sky from the top of mountains. Loaded with equipment and telescopes, this was an adventure which would forever change the way we look at the stars.

This new exhibition and short film unfold his skills as a photographic and spectrographic pioneer, inventor of mountain top astronomy, popular author, Egyptologist and originator of the One O’Clock Gun and Time Ball.

Charles Piazzi Smyth 200

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Nelson Monument

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Perched high on Calton Hill in the east end of the city centre, is the monument to Admiral Lord Nelson's victory, and death, at the battle of...

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Stars, Time and Mountains: The legacy of Charles Piazzi Smyth

Stars, Time and Mountains: The legacy of Charles Piazzi Smyth

Saturday 18 May 2019, 10:30am

It's the 200th anniversary of the birth of the famous and controversial Victorian polymath, Charles Piazzi Smyth. As Astronomer Royal for Scotland...

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