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Zig-zagging : how to confuse the enemy at sea

This zig-zag clock – a rare object from the Second World War, now on display at Royal Observatory Greenwich – was part of a Top Secret, and incredibly dangerous, defence tactic used by Allied convoys throughout the Battle of the Atlantic, the fiercest naval struggle in modern history. An unusual timepiece,…

From sundials to caesium – a brief (140 character) history of time

We had some fascinating speakers at our Clocking Off Late event last week talking about space, time and our place in the universe. We were live tweeting along but for those who missed it we’ve collected some of the best bits below. First up Louise Devoy, Curator of Royal Observatory Greenwich,…

Thanks for naming that tune!

A big thank you to everyone for their enthusiastic response in naming the Titanic musical toy pig’s tune. We are delighted to be able to confirm that the tune is La Sorella, composed in around 1905 by Charles Borel-Clerq. The tune is also known as La Matchiche, which confirms the…

An extraordinary day when time and a pig flew…

To mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic on 12 April 1912, the National Maritime Museum put on an exhibition, entitled, Titanic Remembered, which highlighted some of the stories told by survivors of the disaster to Walter Lord, who wrote the book,  A Night to Remember on which…

Adjusting after a ‘long’ weekend at the Royal Observatory – Precision clocks and the leap second

It is unlikely that anyone came into work feeling more refreshed than usual following the insertion of an extra second into Saturday 30 June. While this event did not affect our body clocks, it did have an effect on the National Maritime Museum’s collection. At the Royal Observatory two clocks,…