History[ edit ] The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory was one of six observatories — and one of the four original observatories built by  — tracking the degree of "wobble" occurring on the earth's north-south axis and resultant variation of latitude. The Observatory — along with observatories in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ukiah, California; Mizusawa , Japan; Charjui in Russian Turkestan; and Carloforte, Sardina, Italy — performed in concert to carry out a coordinated program of star observation designed to investigate and calculate the degree of earth "wobble" or latitude variation. This small framed structure played a key role in the scientific investigation of the Earth's rotation. In , the International Geodetic Association established a network of observatories to measure the wobble of the planet on its axis by plotting the locations of specific stars.
Guide: Observatory Heights of Gaithersburg in United States | Tripmondo
New park shines light on Gaithersburg's astronomic history by Danielle E. The Gaithersburg observatory and five others were built around the world between and Sited along the 39th parallel, they were used to measure the wobble in the Earth's orbit. The Gaithersburg observatory was designated in as a National Historic Landmark in For the better part of 82 years, a white shack tucked off DeSellum Avenue in Gaithersburg was the site of sleepless nights, stargazing and scientific inquiry.
The City of Gaithersburg Despite its modest form and obscure location tucked in a residential neighborhood in the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, the International Latitude Observatory holds an important place in the history of earth science. Following the discovery by a German scientist that the earth wobbles on its polar axis, in , the private International Geodetic Association based in Potsdam, Germany created the International Polar Motion Service, which established six observatories around the world for the purpose of measuring the variations in latitude caused by the earth's wobble. Located in Gaithersburg, MD, Cincinnati, Ohio, Ukiah, California, Mizusawa, Japan, Charjui in Russian Turkestan, and Carloforte, Sardinia, Italy, all six observatories sat along the parallel of 39 degrees 08 minutes north latitude so that they could collect uniform computations. From to , Americans observed polar motion at the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory in concert with scientists around the world.
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