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The Isaac Newton Telescope - at Herstmonceux and on La Palma


At the end of the second World War professional astronomy in Britain was in the doldrums. A remedy was proposed in the form of a big new telescope, to be named after the country's greatest scientist.

But years of indecision and frustration followed, and not until 1968 was the Isaac Newton Telescope -fifth largest in the world- fully open for business at its Sussex site. Just eleven years later it closed down, defeated by the British climate.

The telescope was updated and improved, and reinstalled at a much better location in the Canary Islands, where it has operated successfully for a quarter of a century. 

This book is a history of the Isaac Newton Telescope, from the casting in 1936 of what would eventually become its main mirror in Sussex, to its continuing exploration of Canarian skies in the twenty-first century. It is a book about large telescopes and how they work, about the political realities of a 'big science' project, and about the remarkable progress of astronomy over forty years, in which the Isaac Newton telescope has played, and is still playing, a part. 


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) in 2017, we produced a limited edition of just 200 gold-foiled copies.

148 pages, paperback, 104 colour and black/white illustrations.
By Anthony Wilson.
Science Projects Publishing 2017. ISBN 978 0 9512394 2 1 


These are available with the exclusive INT pin badge designed for us by Brighton based artist Mark Charlton. 


Lapel pin badge approx 2.5 x 2.5 cms


Price includes 2nd class postage to UK address.

Exclusively available from The Observatory Science Centre.


Wartling Road

June 10th - 14th and June 17th - 20th 

For 9 working days East Sussex Highways are carrying out patching works on Wartling Road which will be closed to through traffic 7 am – 7 pm, but will be allowing access to both The Observatory Science Centre and Herstmonceux Castle Gardens & Grounds.  Evening / night access is unaffected and there will be no weekend working.

The Observatory Science Centre and Herstmonceux Gardens & Grounds will be open as normal and we will provide updates as necessary.