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Astro-Cymru: Celebrating 400 years of Welsh Astronomy
Exhibition Catalogue – Powysland Museum, Welshpool – Mon 11th January to Tue 9th March 2010

This Exhibition has been organised by The Share Initiative (TSI) with the help and assistance of many groups and individuals supporting the Astro-Cymru project – which is funded by the Heritage Lottery for Wales.

In the 12 display cases there are nearly 100 numbered objects.  This catalogue provides further details of each object and the reason it has been included.  More details can be found on this website.

  1. Old-style Reflecting Telescope (donation – Martin Griffiths, University of Glamorgan)
  2. Brass Eyepiece (TSI) – an 1¼ -inch RAS-threaded eyepiece for an astronomical telescope
  3. Brass Refracting Telescope (loan – Andy Breen, University of Aberystwyth) made by W & S Jones of Holborn, London (c.1850) and bequeathed to University College of Wales by Sir John Williams, Physician to H.M. Queen Victoria
  4. Pillar & Claw Telescope Stand (TSI) – for a small telescope
  5. Large Brass Eyepiece (TSI) a 2-inch wide-field eyepiece for an astronomical telescope
  6. Brass Focusing Rack (TSI) from a 7-inch refracting telescope
  7. Modern Coronado Solar Telescope (TSI) for safely observing detail on the Sun in Hydrogen light
  8. Drawing of Lunar Features by Rev T. W. Webb (courtesy of Royal Astronomical Society) from Webb’s Observing Notebook
  9. Drawing of Planetary details by Arthur Mee (courtesy of Bryn Jones – an excellent website for the History of Welsh Astronomy)
  10. Sunspot region on the Sun – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Jack Newton) Solar flares from sunspot regions can eject charged particles from the Sun which take about 48 hours to reach the Earth – causing the Aurorae.
  11. Victorian Field Microscope (TSI) similar to that used at Penllergaer by Thereza Llewellyn
  12. 3-inch Telescope Objective Lens + Vernier (TSI) – a typical size lens for 19th Century amateurs
  13. Brass & Leather Telescope (TSI) - with pancratic eyepiece for variable powers
  14. Swift Polarising Microscope (TSI) – Thereza Llewellyn experimented with polarised light
  15. Thereza Llewellyn & Microscope photograph (courtesy of The Penllergare Trust)
  16. Penllergaer Observatory (courtesy of The Penllergare Trust) – an online virtual observatory based on the architectural plans of this observatory is being developed –
  17. John Dillwyn Llewellyn Camera & Darkroom photograph (courtesy of The Penllergare Trust) – the 200th birthday of JDL is on 12th January 2010
  18. Double Cluster in Perseus – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Robert Gendler) 7500 light years away. This spectacular pair of clusters is thought to have formed 12.8 million years ago.
  19. 3-inch Broadhurst Clarkson Refracting Telescope on Tripod (TSI) – made c.1930
  20. Hubble Deep Sky Field – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: S. Beckwith – NASA/ESA HUDF team) 13 billion light years. An exposure time of over 11 days with the Hubble Space Telescope shows galaxies of 30th magnitude only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
  21. Mirror-making Blanks for Grinding (TSI) – Grinding two blanks of glass together with carborundon grit produces a concave/convex pair – the concave ‘mirror’ is then polished and parabolised.
  22. 6-inch Parabolic Mirror for a Cassegrain Reflecting Telescope (TSI) – in this design the light is reflected through a hole in the main mirror to reach the eyepiece.
  23. Diagonal Plane Mirror for a Newtonian Reflector (TSI) – this is from a 12-inch reflecting telescope
  24. Spherometer (loan - Swansea Astronomical Society) – used for measuring glass curves
  25. 6-inch Pitch Lap for Polishing Astronomical Mirrors (TSI) – used for polishing mirror blanks
  26. Dial Spherometer (loan - Swansea Astronomical Society) – used for measuring glass curves
  27. 7-inch Telescope Objective Lens (TSI) – 8-foot focal length – made of crown & flint glass
  28. Small Lenses (TSI) – used for small ‘finder’ telescopes of low power
  29. ‘Double Stars – 1779 article by Nathaniel Pigott (TSI) – discoveries made at Frampton House in Glamorganshire
  30. ‘Variable Stars – 1801 article by Edward Pigott (TSI) – a 5-year study of star brightness variations
  31. 12-inch Parabolic Mirror for a Newtonian Reflecting Telescope (TSI) – 8-foot focal length
  32. Glass Sculpture of the Andromeda Galaxy (TSI) – based on an infra-red modern image of the galaxy and laser-etched inside pure crystal glass. See
  33. ‘Celestial Photography – Isaac Roberts (courtesy of Mr Chris Campbell – private collection)
  34. Isaac Roberts photograph (courtesy of the Royal Astronomical Society)
  35. Star globe (TSI) – showing the Milky Way band passing through star groups (constellations)
  36. Planisphere (TSI) – a very useful device to help learn star groups
  37. Isaac Roberts’ Observatory (courtesy of Mr Chris Campbell – private collection)
  38. Isaac Roberts’ Telescopes (courtesy of Mr Chris Campbell – private collection)
  39. Andromeda Galaxy photograph by Isacc Roberts (courtesy of Mr Chris Campbell – private collection) – this photograph first showed the spiral structure of this ‘nebula’
  40. Andromeda Galaxy – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Galaxy Evolution Explorer Team for NASA / JPL-CalTech) 2.5 million light years away – a spiral galaxy close to our Milky Way galaxy. This ultra-violet image shows how brilliant blue stars mark the spiral arms while older cooler orange stars lie near the core of the galaxy.
  41. Skylark Rocket model (loan – Andy Breen, University of Wales, Aberystwyth) – this is ¼ size and the rocket was 25-foot (7.6 metres) tall with a 17-inch (44 cm) diameter. Over 440 launches were made between 1957 and 2005.
  42. Large Box Camera (objects 42 – 53 loaned by Richard Winterbourn – private collection)
  43. Roll Films
  44. 3 Glass Slides
  45. Changing Bag
  46. Glass Plate Carrier
  47. Medium Box Camera
  48. Top Hat
  49. Cane
  50. Aperture Masks
  51. Thomas Henry Winterbourn
  52. Astro-Slides
  53. Telescope at Llandudno photograph
  54. Sun with Coronal Loop Prominence – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Alan Friedman) An eruption causes cooler prominence gases to hang in the solar atmosphere.
  55. Sunspots – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Goran Scharmer & Karl Langhams – Royal Swedish Academy of Science) A high-resolution image of the solar surface (photosphere) showing the structure of the dark cooler sunspot regions.
  56. Coronal Loops on the Sun – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: TRACE team of the Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research and NASA) An ultra-violet image of the Sun’s edge showing vast looping structures made up of extremely hot electrically-charged gas (plasma) which follow the magnetic field lines in the solar corona.
  57. 12-inch Parabolic Mirror for a Newtonian Reflecting Telescope (TSI) – 5-foot focal length
  58. Glass Sculpture of the Sun’s Magnetic Field (TSI) – based on the solar coronal magnetic field as it appeared on 21st October 2000. See
  59. Laboratory Spectrometer (TSI) – used with a prism or grating to analyse light wavelengths
  60. ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ album cover – Pink Floyd (TSI) – showing dispersion of light by a prism
  61. Colour Filter Wheel and loose filters (TSI) – can be used to observe the Moon and planets
  62. Thousand Oaks Solar Filter (TSI) – a thin aluminium layer can screen infra-red rays from the Sun
  63. Drawing of Sunspots by Rev T.W. Webb (courtesy of Royal Astronomical Society)
  64. Earth-Sun Magnetic Fields – showing holographic images
  65. Rocket payload (objects 65 – 72 loaned by Andy Breen, University of Wales, Aberystwyth)
  66. Skylark Booster
  67. Rocket circuit boards
  68. Radiation Monitor
  69. Rocket payload
  70. Petrel Rocket model
  71. Rocket circuit board
  72. Skylark launch – framed photograph
  73. Earth – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Reto St....Ckli image for the NASA GSFC Earth Observatory) A composite image called the ‘Blue Marble’ showing land, sea, cloud cover and night-time lights of our planet.
  74. Glass Slide Projector (loan – Swansea Astronomical Society) – used for slide lectures in the 1950s
  75. ‘Serydiaeth a Seriddwyr’ by Silas Evans (TSI) – a Welsh astronomy classic
  76. Astronomical Glass Slides (loan – Swansea Astronomical Society) – for lectures in the 1950s
  77. Volunteers Needed! (TSI) Welsh-to-English translation of ‘Seryddiaeth a Seriddwyr’
  78. Mars – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: NASA/Mars Global Surveyor) High wispy clouds of water ice cover volcanic peaks on the planet Mars. The North Pole ice cap is also visible.
  79. Moon – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: Russell Croman) The Full Moon has a landscape showing bright highlands, dark lava-filled seas, impact craters and rays of ejected material.
  80. Rock & Mineral specimens (TSI) – shelly limestone / andesite / granite / sandstone / biotite mica – 150 years ago Webb and other astronomers were trying to decide if there were volcanoes on the Moon – only the andesite rock here (light colour) is volcanic – from Aegina Island in Greece
  81. Radiometer (TSI) – a device first invented in the 1870s – it rotates when illuminated or heated
  82. BAA Lunar Section Moon Map (TSI) – a fairly modern map for lunar observers
  83. Moon globe (TSI) – 1990s example
  84. H P Wilkins Map of Moon CD-Rom (TSI) – Wilkins 300-inch map of the Moon - published in 1950s
  85. Early Photograph of the Moon (courtesy of The Penllergare Trust) – by JDL and his daughter Thereza at Penllergaer Observatory c.1850s
  86. Veil Nebula – FETTU image (From Earth Top The Universe: J.C. Cuillnadre – Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation) 1440 light years away – the remains of a giant stellar explosion called a supernova that occurred 8000 years ago.
  87. Horsehead Nebula – FETTU image (From Earth To The Universe: T.A. Rector – NOAC/AURA/NSF) 1500 light years. Image taken with a 0.9 metre telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona. A dense cloud of gas sits in front of a star-forming region in the constellation of Orion.
  88. Herschel Spacecraft poster (European Space Agency - ESA) – now in space
  89. Planck Spacecraft poster (ESA) – again a current space mission

Webb-Share Heritage Loan Box – Observation theme (TSI) including Small Brass Field Microscope / Flat Circular Mirror / Direct-Vision Spectroscope (silver) / Hallwag Moon Map / ‘Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes’ book by Rev T. W. Webb – 1960 Dover edition / 7x40 binoculars / 2 Vortex aroma-cubes (horses / riverbank) / and in foam layer - ‘Box of Stars’ / 1860 oystershell magnifying lens / sandstone rock. All these items have stories linking them to ‘astronomers’!

Webb-Share Heritage Loan Box – Communication theme (TSI) including mobile phone / horseshoe / Victorian postal scales / railway track / hand bell / Vortex aroma-cube (ship’s cannon) / model cannon / and Holy Bible. Again all these items have stories linked to astronomy 150 years ago!