Thursday, 12 August 2010

Greenwich Meridian Line - Leytonstone Markers & Youtube Videos

These official Greenwich Prime Meridian markers were placed in the year 2000 as part the  millennium celebrations. Im told there are also some in Walthamstow which will be investigated soon these markers however are in Leytonstone. 

1. Harlow RD, Leytonstone, East London

2. Bulwer RD, Leytonstone, East London

A Little Official History...

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich was founded in 1675 to observe and record the movement of heavenly bodies in an attempt to solve the longitude problem by the lunar distance method. The observatory building designed by Wren and overseen by Hooke was built on the highest ground in Greenwich Park with rooms for the appointed astronomer, John Flamsteed and an assistant. He worked on the project for over 40 years with his star catalogue being published posthumously in 1725. 

Ships at sea could measure latitude by the sun or stars but to determine longitude required time comparison, with an hour's time difference equal to 15° of longitude. The loss of 4 warships and 2000 men under the command of Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell off the Scilly Isles in 1707 prompted the passing of the Longitude Act in 1714 offering a huge prize of £20000 for a 'practicable & useful' solution. A sum of £8750 was eventually and reluctantly awarded to the Yorkshire clockmaker, John Harrison who spent 40 years developing his marine chronometer. 

A Meridian is just an abstract starting point so ships would use their home port and observatories would set on their own position. Greenwich actually has 4 meridians as successive astronomers - Flamsteed, Halley, Bradley & Airy worked from different points with new equipment. These can be compared in the Meridian Building and Bradleys was adopted by Ordnance Survey. In 1884 at a conference in Washington DC representatives from 25 countries voted to make Greenwich the Prime Meridian of the world as the Nautical Almanacs produced by Nevil Maskelyne, the fifth Astronomer Royal, were the most comprehensive and widely used. The French however retained their Paris Observatory Meridian until 1911. 

Greenwich now refers to itself as the 'Centre of Time & Space' and the 'Place where East meets West'.


The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of longitude) at which the longitude is defined to be 0°. The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian (at 180° longitude), which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. By international convention, the modern Prime Meridian passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (at 51°28′38″N 0°00′00″E / 51.47722°N 0°E / 51.47722; 0 (Greenwich Observatory)), in southeast London, United Kingdom, known as the International Meridian or Greenwich Meridian, although the Prime Meridian is ultimately arbitrary unlike the parallels of latitude, which are defined by the rotational axis of the Earth with the Poles at 90° and the Equator at 0°. Historically, various meridians have been used, including four different ones through Greenwich.

All from YouTube users...

Here's a classic example of symbolism of the music industry...The concept of East and West...Venus...Number Symbolism...and more...

--------MORE TO COME-------

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