Our first History of Astronomy group meeting of the Flamsteed season proved to be a great success. We had about 35 Flamsteed members in attendance to hear Rory McEvoy, the Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, giving a talk entitled “Just a Second..”.
In his talk, Rory looked at the development of our concepts and technology of time measurement, and talked about the connections between time measurement and astronomy. He explained how Galileo “weighed” time, how the astronomer John Flamsteed demonstrated that the Earth’s rotation (the length of the day) was constant, and the how the clock designer William Shortt showed that it wasn’t! Finally, there was a lively discussion about leap seconds and whether we actually need them.
A fascinating evening for all who attended. Many thanks to Rory for giving up his valuable time in creating and delivering this talk.
Here are a few pictures from the event…