Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope?
I am on business in London for several months and I am enjoying my stay here taking in the rich scientific and cultural history of the city. I would like to know if Isaac Newton's original reflecting telescope is still in existence and, if so, where might it be on display?
I tried to find this out on the web and although I could find photographs of it I couldn't work out where it was.
I did find this nice list of the websites of museums in the UK which might help.
I also emailed the British Museum to see if they might know where it is (I'm intrigued now!). What they said was "I am afraid that we are unable to assist you with your inquiry. I suggest that you contact the Whipple Museum for the History of Science in Cambridge or the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London." Good luck with your search.
NOTE FROM KAREN: If anyone does know where this can be seen please email us the answer!
UPDATE by Britt, May 7, 2002 Newton's original telescope is currently in the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, part of an exhibit called "To Mars and Beyond," from 13 December 2001 to 26 May 2002. The exhibit will then travel to the display from 26 June to 21 October 2002 at the Museum Victoria.
The telescope is owned by the Royal Society of London.
UPDATE by Britt, August 14, 2002: We have it on the authority of a person with a .uk address that the Royal Society in London has the telescope in their rooms at Carlton House Terrace.
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