2 May 2013 – Local Astronomy History and how the Bedford Planetarium was built

Following on from our visit to the Bedford School Observatory and Planetarium, Mr. Linton Guise and Mr. Philip Stone came to the club to tell of the history behind those who were instrumental in bringing astronomy to Bedford during the early 1800’s. The school’s observatory is named in honour of Charles Piazzi Smyth, who in 1846 was appointed Astronomer Royal for Scotland.

 Mr. Philip Stone then continued with the details of building the observatory which started with a massive cement base for the telescope as well as foundations for the brick building itself, then the construction of the glass fibre dome along with the mechanism used to turn it. Details followed as to how he made the star projector for the planetarium since none were available to fit the size of the building intended for it’s use. 

 Members were amazed at the complexity and ingenuity that went into this project!

The evening climaxed with a birthday presentation to Victor,G3JNB who was celebrating his 80th.  Bryan, M0BIK brought a cake which Kate, a work colleague, had made on the club’s behalf. The top was decorated with a 6L6 circuit, complete with vintage symbols!

Victors cakeleft, Victor G3JNB,   right Paul, G1GSN