The fate of a TV icon

Sky at Night Magazine - - INTERACTIVE -

I am an am­a­teur astronomer and mem­ber of Sal­ford Astro­nom­i­cal Society with a great in­ter­est in the his­tory of astron­omy. Af­ter a re­cent talk by our chair­man, Dr Al­lan Chap­man, we got talk­ing about the lo­ca­tion of the gi­ant plani­sphere that was used as the back­ground on the Sky at Night pro­gramme in its early years. I won­dered if it was still kept in stor­age some­where, or has it ceased to ex­ist?

Gary Yule, via email

Al­though Pa­trick’s ob­serv­ing note­books, along with some of his tele­scopes and other ef­fects, are kept by the Science Mu­seum, the orig­i­nal gi­ant plani­sphere was dis­posed of around 1968, af­ter more than a decade’s use as scenery on The Sky at Night. A re­pro­duc­tion was made for the show’s 50th an­niver­sary, and this is cur­rently in our pos­ses­sion on the mag­a­zine. – Ed

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