Astronomy and space science

Astronomy and space sciences

Equatorium - a pre-Copernican planetary calculator (1600)

There are nearly 900 astronomy items in the collection with particular strengths in historic telescopes and educational materials.

Highlights include:

  • The Wilson 24" Cassegrain reflector, which was used in the first experiments in photo-electric photometry and early attempts in astrophotography.
  • The optics for William Lassell's 24" reflector.
  • The Bidston 8.5" Merz refractor.
  • 17th to 18th century astronomical sighting and computational apparatus.

The space science collection has about 100 items with particular strengths in British Rocketry and instrumentation packages. Of particular significance is the Blue Streak Rocket, now on display at the National Space Science Centre in Leicester, and the Astris third stage of the Europa One rocket.