ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lord Lindsay's heliometer. This instrument was used to observe the Sun and measure stellar parallaxes to determine the distances of stars. It was originally located in Dunecht Observatory, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. This observatory was founded in 1871 by the Scottish astronomer James Ludovic Lindsay (1847-1913), the 26th Earl of Crawford. Lindsay appointed David Gill (1843-1914) as the first director of the observatory, and Gill later purchased the heliometer from Lord Lindsay and took it to the Cape Observatory in South Africa in 1880. This instrument was also used in Mauritius to observe the transit of Venus in 1874. It was later returned to England and installed at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.
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