Longitude 0° 0′ 0”


Longitude 0° 0′ 0”

The Prime Meridian is an imaginary that splits out planet in half starting at the north pole and making its way down through the south pole. Like slicing an apple or an orange, it creates two equal halves. This line happens to run through a spot at the top of a hill in Greenwich. The Royal Observatory, at the top of a peak, perfect for viewing stars and discovering new ideas of time and space, and is the center for measuring every other place on earth!
Longitude 0° 0′ 0”
Imagine being the source for measurement of all other places. This reflects greatly on the British Empire and the fact that they are the center of the world… Look at any map that is folded out for a full 2d view. Great Britain is the center, not Asia or America or the Middle East.

When I walked up that hill to the Royal Observatory (please note the term ‘royal’ because I’ll return to it later) I was taken aback by the beauty of the view. I could see the skyline of the city of London, the park below, the blue sky littered with clouds and a cool breeze that floated past. I was excited and eager to explore what was hidden behind the gates!
When I finally got inside I was surrounded by clocks and fancy paintings of men showing off their clothes and legs. I felt surrounded by displays of knowledge, wealth, privilege and was reconfirmed in my suspicions of Britain being ‘the center of the universe’. I wanted so badly to appreciate and take in my surrounding but I was stopped by the crowds of people wandering around and taking pictures to have proof of being at…
Longitude 0° 0′ 0”
What does it mean to stand on that line, to have each foot on a different sides of the world? I began to think about it in a figurative way and discovered that I didn’t find any special significance in the idea of it. I think it is essential so we can label the measurements of other places in relation to something. Put one foot on a path and the other on the grass, that is a split that means something. Overcoming boundaries mean something but the splitting of the earth in a particular spot (especially straight through Britain) in 1675 has great scientific benefits but also is a display of power, masculinity and rule.
Longitude 0° 0′ 0”

‘Royal’ Observatory. Royalty throughout the history of England has been revered as God’s chosen. Look at the Church of England. Henry the VIII was a confused and sexually frustrated man who wasn’t allowed to divorce his wife because of the church rule. But, as God’s chosen ruler of England, he had the power to make his own church and force his people to adhere to his rules, not only in state but in church. If this isn’t an example of masculinity, power, and patriarchy (all in the name of God), I’m not sure what is.
With this in mind, I ask the reader to ponder, what it means to label something ‘royal’ and what that means for the observatory. I am not denying the fact that the observatory was the key to many advancements in science. Instead, I am asking everyone to think about why an imaginary line running through Greenwich, England is so important. And, where do you stand in relation to Longitude 0° 0′ 0”?



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