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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Tilted Cones

To the Editors:

Tilted%20Cone%20at%20Royal%20Observatory%20GreenwichClick to Enlarge ImageI have just seen Daniel Silver’s article in the September–October issue of American Scientist (“Slicing a Cone for Art and Science”) and thought you might be interested in this recent use of a tilted truncated cone at the Royal Observatory Greenwich (shown at right). The cone is illustrated halfway down the page at http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~catchpol/.

I was asked to think of a design for enclosing our new planetarium. I gave my idea to our architects and was rather amused to see that their first plan showed an egg shape. Having read your article, I see they had a fine precedent in Durer.

I had a lot of fun showing how my design changed with latitude, from a dull cylinder at the pole to something like a strange elongated upturned boat near the equator.

Robin Catchpole
Institute of Astronomy
Cambridge University


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Slicing a Cone for Art and Science

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