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London Illustrated News, October 21st, 1854
Professor Airy’s Experiments in a Coal-pit.


One of the most interesting series of astronomical experiments that has for many years been attempted in Europe, is just being performed by Professor Airy, the Astronomer Royal, at Harton Pit, within two miles of South Shields.

In the pit, which is 1,260 feet deep, a set of delicate instruments and a pendulum, have been provided in a room constructed for the purpose. Above, on the surface, exactly vertical to the room below, is another room, its exact counterpart. Here, delicate pendulum observations are made day and night, to test the density of the earth, by the number of oscillations above, compared with the number below - with certain connections and adjustments which none but the experimenter himself can explain.

Professor Airy has arranged to deliver a lecture in demonstration of these experiments and their uses, at South Shields, on Wednesday evening next, the 24th inst., when the instruments will be placed in situ upon a platform, in the lecture-room. We hope to illustrate these important experiments.


Submitted by Alan Vickers

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