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the final frontier


In May 2007 the Royal Observatory completed one of the most exciting periods in its history – a £15 million redevelopment of the site which includes a new, state-of-the-art planetarium, new astronomy and time galleries and an education centre. The new Peter Harrison Planetarium and renovated South Building have won a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich was also awarded the Society for the History of Technology’s 2006 Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits for the new Time Galleries.


The Royal Observatory is also the source of the Prime Meridian of the world, Longitude 0° 0' 0''. Every place on the Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line. The line itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth – just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres. The Prime Meridian is defined by the position of the large 'Transit Circle' telescope in the Observatory's Meridian Observatory. This was built by Sir George Biddell Airy, the 7th Astronomer Royal, in 1850. The cross-hairs in the eyepiece of the Transit Circle precisely define Longitude 0º for the world. Read more about Airy and the Transit Circle.


Plan your visit to the world's largest maritime museum, the Royal Observatory Greenwich and Cutty Sark, all set in the beautiful Greenwich World Heritage Site. We are open daily from 10:00 til 17:00. For more information on how to find us and some upcoming events you can check out our about us page. If you just want to quickly contact us for anything use the following contact details: