Necessity is the mother of invention. ∼ Plato
This Dolphin is probably my most favorite of all modern sundials. The two tails that almost touched each other, leave a gap that casts a shadow onto the dial plate to indicate the time. Held by the dolphins snouts, the dial plate is engraved with thick and thin curved lines representing the hours and ten-minute intervals respectively. The curve is to accommodate the changes of the position of the sun in order to reflect the time accurately each season.
One of the most ingenious sundials (in my uninformed opinion), the Dolphin Sundial was commissioned in 1977 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Imagine getting lost at sea, no working compass, no stars to guide you, no map to tell where the nearest island is to go for cover when the tempest rages. Imagine losing track of time. That sounds really frustrating.
To know the exact time where you were, and at the meridian, was essential in working out ones position. So the clocks had to be very accurate. Harrisons clocks only lost a fifth of a second on a 6 month voyage.
John Harrison made five different marine timekeepers and they are all on display at the Ships, Clocks and Stars exhibition at the National Maritime Museum which will run until the 4th of January 2015.
William Herschel Telescope
It may not look extraordinary apart from its size but this telescope belonged to astronomer William Herschel who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781.
This 3-meter telescope is what remains from the 12 meter reflecting telescope that was installed in Herschels house. It was the largest in the world and because of its enormous size it was difficult to setup and maintain. Therefore, it couldnt be used for much more serious astronomy.
I wonder how great Herschel felt looking at Uranus through this great telescope.
I really enjoyed this trip to Greenwich. Because of its massive area and the tons of things to see and do, one day was not enough so I vow to go back there when I get another chance. Many thanks to my sponsor, Robert, for making this trip possible.
Please also visit Part 1 of my trip to Greenwich.