Human Orrery Opening


Professor Mark Bailey explaining the Human Orrery
Mark Crockard from the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure
Jim Sadlier from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council
Observatory staff demonstrating the rotation of the planets
Armstrong Primary School P7 pupils demonstrating

The Armagh Observatory 'Human Orrery' is the first large outdoor exhibit in the world to show accurately the elliptical orbits and changing relative positions of the planets and other solar system bodies with time. It has been constructed with the support of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and is the first major addition to the Observatory Grounds and Astropark for more than a decade. A ceremony to mark its construction took place at the Observatory on the morning of Friday 26th November.

Check out the Armagh Observatory Orrery website.

An Orrery is a dynamic model of the solar system, designed to show the positions, relative orbits and distances of the planets about the Sun. It shows the orbital periods of objects revolving around the Sun and can be used to illustrate a wide range of celestial phenomena, including planetary alignments, conjunctions, transits, and the laws of orbital mechanics.

The Opening Ceremony took place at the Armagh Observatory on 26th November 2004 and included formal contributions on behalf of the Observatory, the DCAL and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC). Many of those who have contributed to the creation of this world 'first' for Armagh were present, as too were other invited guests and some of the Observatory's staff, students and senior management.

In the evening members from Societies all over Ireland attended the Robinson Lecture, held in The Studio Theatre, The Market Place, Armagh. The Robinson Lecture is held biennially in memory of the founder of the Armagh Observatory, Archbishop Richard Robinson. The guest Lecturer was Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, former Dean of Science at the University of Bath and now Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. The lecture was entitled "Tick, Tick, Tick Pulsating Star, How We Wonder What You Are!

Recently restored 10inch Grubb refractor with working clock drive and main observatory instrumentRecently restored 15inch Grubb


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