Observatory’s Celebration of major gas’ discovery

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 November 2018

David Strange introudced the speakers. Picture: Peter Youd.

David Strange introudced the speakers. Picture: Peter Youd.

Archant

Observatory holds special event to commemorate 150th anniversary of helium.

The three speakers at the event. Picture: Alan GreenThe three speakers at the event. Picture: Alan Green

Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth held special event to celebrate the discovery of one of the major gases.

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of when helium was first discovered and as part of the commemoration, the observatory invited science historian Dr Allan Chapman to give his talk ‘The Civil Servant and the Sunbeam’.

Allan worked at Oxford University as part of the history faculty and has written several books. He also presented on the Channel 4 documentary ‘Gods in the Sky’ which focused on astronomical religion in early civilisations.

Norman Lockyer, who the observatory takes its name from, was one of the first people to discover helium initially believing it was only to be found on the surface of the sun so the venue was particularly poignant for this anniversary.


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