The Royal Greenwich Observatory was founded in 1675 by decree of King Charles II. The first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, was charged "to apply himself with the most exact care and diligence to the rectifying of the tables of the motions of the heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired longitude of places for the perfecting of the art of navigation''.
In its 323-year history, the Royal Greenwich Observatory maintained a tradition of high-precision astrometry of planets and satellites and was always at the forefront of technology and observational techniques. This paper is a continuation of that proud tradition.
The Royal Greenwich Observatory was closed on 31 October 1998 by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.Acknowledgements
The Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by the Royal Greenwich Observatory in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. The authors wish to thank the staff of the Observatory for their kind assistance. This work was carried out with financial support from the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.
Copyright The European Southern Observatory (ESO)