RGO back to first site

March 6, 1998

A national centre for the understanding of astronomy could soon be attracting more than a million visitors a year to Greenwich, writes Julia Hinde.

The council of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council was expected to agree this week to transfer the Royal Greenwich Observatory's public understanding of science activities and the RGO name to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and back to the site of the original royal observatory.

The decision would also need royal assent and Home Office approval. It would end the controversy that began last summer when PPARC decided to concentrate UK astronomy technical support in Edinburgh.

It would disappoint many at the RGO in Cambridge who fought to keep the name linked to practical science. PPARC believes the planned move will offer the "opportunity of creating a flagship for UK astronomy".

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