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Tag: astronomy

Royal Observatory Edinburgh visitor centre

Summer in Scotland isn’t a great time for getting a good view of the night sky… with less than seven hours of darkness, and much of that twilight. In the summer of 2014, I worked with the Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre in the slightly quieter time over the school summer holidays to  refurbish and rebuild some of their interactive exhibits.

I had worked with Tania Johnston, Senior Public Engagement Officer at the Observatory the previous year to create couple of new exhibits in their learning space. 

A model of the James Clark Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, home to the SCUBA camera developed and built at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. 

And the nose-cone from a Skylark Rocket. Skylark rockets flew from the 1950s up to 2005 and carried experiments into space, some of which were designed at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

Plinths and graphic panels built/printed by Leach Colour. 

Model of James Clerk Maxwell Model
Skylark Rocket nose cone
Prism interactive exhibit

This year, Tania was keen to revamp the interactive exhibits in the telescope dome. These exhibits had been in place for around 20 years (maybe longer!) and were the surviving three that remained popular with both staff and visitors from a slightly larger selection installed in the 1990s.

The challenge was to re-design and re-build them to keep all the aspects that had worked so well for so long, but to refresh the text and graphics and give them a more modern finish.

Relatively local company FifeX took care of the exhibit build while graphic design was by Chris Peters who designed the graphics for last years’ exhibits. The Observatory staff are very pleased with the outcome, hopefully the first school group to use them this week will agree.

  • Observatory interactives roe light wide

    Reflection and refraction

  • Observatory interactives roe spectros graphic

    Spectrum exhibit

  • Observatory interactives roe prism close

    Bending light

  • Observatory interactives roe prism wide

    Prism exhibit

  • Observatory interactives roe spectros glowing

    Nitrogen spectrum

  • Observatory interactives roe wide

    The telescope


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