You might be shocked to learn that the Norman Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium, located on Salcombe Hill, is also located in Sidmouth. The structure, which was finished in 1912, fell into disrepair but was preserved from demolition thanks to the efforts of local enthusiasts. The observatory is currently available to the public and serves as a scientific teaching initiative.
Because it has a reasonably “clean” sky to the east and south over the sea, the observatory is particularly well suited for spectral analysis in astronomy, which requires a clear sky throughout the whole optical spectrum. The atmosphere is normally devoid of air pollution and light pollution, and the air is also free of rising currents that might distort optical pictures since the sea has a consistent temperature.
The Norman Lockyer Observatory, Lockyer Technology Centre, and Planetarium (together known as NLO) is a public access optical observatory located 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Sidmouth, East Devon, England. It is administered by the Norman Lockyer Observatory Society and houses a variety of antique optical telescopes, notably the Lockyer Telescope (NLOS).
When Joseph Norman Lockyer retired to Sidmouth in 1912 after the closing of the South Kensington Observatory, of which he was Director, he founded the observatory. The observatory was originally known as Hill Observatory, but after Norman Lockyer’s death in 1920, it was renamed Norman Lockyer Observatory.