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Durham University Observatory

The Durham University Observatory is a weather observatory owned and operated by the University of Durham. It is a Grade II listed building[1] located at Potters Bank, Durham and was founded in 1839 initially as an astronomical and meteorological observatory (owing to the need to calculate refraction from the air temperature) by Temple Chevallier, until 1937 when the observatory moved purely to meteorological recording.[2]

Durham Observatory
Durham Observatory.jpg
Observatory front view
Durham University Observatory is located in Durham, England
Durham University Observatory
Location within Durham, England
General information
LocationPotters Bank, Durham
Coordinates54°46′05″N 1°35′10″W / 54.768°N 1.586°W / 54.768; -1.586
Construction started1839
OwnerDurham University
Design and construction
ArchitectAnthony Salvin

The observatory's current Director is Professor Tim Burt of the Geography Department, who is also Master of Hatfield College.

After the Radcliffe Observatory, Durham has the longest unbroken meteorological record of any University in the UK, with records dating back to the 1840s,[3] principally due to the work of Gordon Manley in creating a temperature record that would be comparable to Oxford's.[4] At present the observatory contributes to the Met Office's forecasts by providing automated records.

Former observersEdit


  1. ^ "Durham Observatory". Heritage Gateway. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  2. ^ Documentation Preserved – Spr. 1998 Archived 12 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Weather > Home ( DNN 3.0.12 ) Archived 19 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) The Observatory's History
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Durham University: Earlier Foundations and Present Colleges, Fowler, Joseph Thomas (1904)" (PDF). Kessinger Publishing. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  6. ^ Rochester, G. D. (1980). "The History of Astronomy in the University of Durham from 1835 TO 1939". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 21: 369. Bibcode:1980QJRAS..21..369R.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Kenworthy, J. M.; Burt, T. P.; Cox, N. J. (2007). "Durham University Observatory and its meteorological record". Weather. 62 (10): 265–269. Bibcode:2007Wthr...62..265K. doi:10.1002/wea.86.

External linksEdit