Charles Piazzi Smyth
It’s the 200th anniversary of the birth of the famous and controversial Victorian astronomer, Charles Piazzi Smyth. As Astronomer Royal for Scotland, he created the One O’Clock Gun tradition, started the idea of mountaintop astronomy, pioneered stereo photography, measured the Great Pyramid of Gizeh (coming up with some strange theories…), and wrote many popular books. He was also a prolific artist.
In these web pages you can read all about Piazzi Smyth’s colourful life, view some of his wonderful photographs and watercolours, and find out why his work with time, the stars, photography – and yes, that controversial pyramid stuff! – was so important.
You can also see what is going on this year – a new exhibition at the Nelson Monument, a variety of public talks, a public experiment with the Time Gun, and a Symposium all about his life and work. To give you a flavour, scroll down to find a ten minute video that is part of the Nelson Monument exhibition.
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NEWS & BLOG
The Piazzi Smyth mini-festival was a grand success! We had a fascinating diverse mixture of scientists, historians, members of public - and Piazzi Smyth's descendants! We celebrated Charles and Jessie's achievements, and heard how they [...]
Piazzi Smyth mini-Festival about to start!
Our three day Piazzi Smyth mini-festival is about to start! We have a movie screening, a public lecture with live stereo, an array of top-notch speakers, an Astronomical Tour, and even some of Piazzi Smyth's [...]
Hidden Secrets of the Victorian Fold-out
Not everything is digitised - yet. Thats the joy of exploring the sketches, journals and photos here in the Royal Observatory archives. But even when something has been digitised - by a library somewhere, by [...]
Curious Edinburgh Tour bookable now
As part of the Piazzi Smyth mini-Festival Sept 2-4 we are offering a tour of Edinburgh's Astronomical Past, in collaboration with our chums at Curious Edinburgh. You can book a place via Eventbrite here. Looks [...]
Movie and Lecture tickets still available!
Temporary panic recently, when some people contacted us to say that it seemed that all tickets were sold out for Symposium, Movie, and Public Lecture... this is definitely not true. Its filling up nicely, but [...]
Movie and Public Lecture – book your tickets!
In September we have a fun three day event celebrating Charles and Jessica Piazzi Smyth, including movie screening, public lecture, and two-day conference. Quite a few bookings have been coming in already, but we have [...]
Symposium advertised at the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Our exciting September event - movie screening, public lecture, and symposium - has just been advertised on website of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) - see this web page. All the events are being [...]
Symposium registration open
The Piazzi Smyth Symposium is ready for registration. Book your tickets! There are three events, which you can book separately or as a package. On the evening of Sept 2nd, we will be screening of [...]
Piazzi Smyth, Mountains, and Outer Space
Charles Piazzi Smyth is rightly famous as the man who convinced the world that we should study the Universe from the tops of mountains rather than from smokey cities. At the top of Mount Teide, [...]