Saturday, 17 November 2012

Life List - Explore the universe like it's 1785!

I'm a nerd at heart. I have geeky pursuits and I like dorky things.

Some of those nerdy things include history and science, which pretty much sums up why I love places like Dunsink Observatory.

Dunsink Observatory was built between 1783 and 1785, was once home to the great Sir William Rowan Hamilton (who, from what I can surmise, took a stroll one day and had a big idea), used to provide local standard time for Dublin and was mentioned in James Joyce's Ulysses. Who wouldn't want to visit it?

Better still, they host public open nights for free during the winter and all you have to do if you're interested in going is ask a lovely lady named Hilary. So I found myself a few weeks back at Dunsink taking in a lecture on the concept of time. What is time? How do you actually quantify it? How do we know what time it is right now?

After learning all about time and how it's actually not what time we think it is at all, we had a chance to visit the South Dome where they keep the Grubb Telescope

Beautifully crafted? Why yes. Housed in a stunning (albeit, freezing cold) dome? Indeed it is! Provided an amazing view of celestial orbs and acted as an earthly gateway to our universe? Not in the slightest. Unfortunately, Dublin is far too cloudy and full of light pollution to see much of anything but it made me feel like an early explorer all the same. If you have a chance, go visit!


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