Sir Norman Lockyer's observatory, Westgate-on-Sea, Isle of Thanet, c 1890.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph of Sir Norman Lockyer's observatory at his country residence at Westgate-on-Sea on the Kent coast in England. This view shows the observatory building for a 30 inch aperture reflecting telescope. The diminutive dome to the right houses a 6 inch refracting telescope. Using a spectroscope with this telescope in 1867, Lockyer detected an unknown element in the Sun. This he named helium, an element that was only isolated in the laboratory from radioactive minerals in 1894. Lockyer a pioneer of the new discipline of astrophysics was a profesor at the Royal School of Science (now Imperial College). Today, he is best remembered as the founder of the prestigious science journal, 'Nature', which he started in 1869.