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In the Footsteps of Flamsteed - Friday 3rd February 2023

Magellan Boy

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Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 3rd February 2023 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. Yours truly will be giving my popular talk In the Footsteps of Flamsteed.


In my my presentation we will follow the life and work of local born astronomer John Flamsteed, who under the patronage of King Charles II became the first Astronomer Royal. We examine his Derbyshire beginnings and his meteoric rise in the scientific community, culminating in his Royal appointment. From his post at the newly established Royal Observatory in Greenwich his life's work was the compilation of a catalogue of the positions of nearly 3000 stars. We witness his tireless and stubborn quest for perfection which would later lead him into conflict with Isaac Newton and Edmund Halley and yet prove fundamental to their discoveries. Finally, we learn how his widow ensured the proper publication of his scientific works.



Portrait by Thomas Gibson. © The Royal Society

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17 minutes ago, Bino-viewer said:

This looks like an interesting talk.

I'll hopefully be able to make it 🙂



It's a good talk Rob. I think I've had the pleasure of hearing this talk 3 or 4 times and I have enjoyed it equally each time. I think Mike opened off our 40th Anniversary event with it and for me the highlight was when Mike gave it at Greenwich when we were escorted around by members of the Flamsteed Society.

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Really enjoyable talk, thankyou Mike.

What a time to be an astronomer, during those early days of discovery.


And how amazing would their dark skys have been ? 

The irony is, they had poor instruments and great  skys, now we have superb instruments and rubbish skys.....

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Thanks Rob, glad you enjoyed the talk. You make a good point about instruments and skies! As Flamsteed said though: "One good instrument is of as much good as one hundred indifferent ones". Still as true today as back then!

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