The Snowdon panorama
I recently acquired an iPhone so that I can consult the internet when I am away from my computer. I typed in ‘jesty snowdon’, and within three minutes I found the Snowdon panorama. I could enlarge the image to enable me to read the small lettering, and I could easily move from one part of the panorama to another. This means that anyone with similar equipment should be able to consult the panorama on the mountain-top, although I have never heard from anyone who has done so.

In 2018 I sent a copy of the panorama to the summit hotel and asked if they knew of anyone who had done this, but I got no reply. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in panoramas nowadays. There have been many photographs showing exceptional river levels in the internet, but none showing exceptional visibility, which I find just as interesting.

Here are some more interesting facts that I have read about:

The oldest tree in Britain is the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, which is said to be 6000 years old. The tallest tree in Britain is a Douglas fir near Inverness that was 260 feet tall in 2014

Wall lizards are found in the cliffs around Bournemouth. There are wild boars in the Forest of Dean, red-necked wallabies in Ashdown Forest, bullfrogs in Sussex and beavers along the River Otter in Devon.

The banks separating the fields of the Lands End peninsula were constructed in the Bronze Age and are among the oldest artefacts in the world still in use.

The largest house number in Britain is number 2679 Stratford Road, Birmingham.

The Barley Barn at Cressing Temple in Essex was built in 1205-35 and is the oldest timber-framed bulding in the world.

There is a boundary stone at Staines bearing the date 1280.

Norton Disney in Lincolnshire was named after ancestors of Walt Disney.

In his book The History of the Countryside Oliver Rackham described Hatfield Forest as ‘the best preserved of all forests’.

Great Maytham Hall near Rolvenden in Kent was the inspiration for The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Corfe Castle was the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s Kirrin Castle in the first of the Famous Five books, and the village of Studland was the inspiration for Toytown. These things were not mentioned in my Purbeck guide because I didn’t know about them at the time.

Alfred Lord Tennyson spent his youth at Somersby in Lincolnshire, close to the River Lymn, which was the inspiration for his poem The Brook. He later lived near Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, where I spent my first holiday.

The rest of the world
Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world (5750 feet, 20 million years). Lake Tanganyika is the second oldest and second deepest (4700 feet, 2 million years).

The Empty Quarter of Arabia is the largest continuous sand desert in the world.

In 2014 an underground lake was discovered 400 miles deep in the mantle with three times the volume of the oceans.

There are 7000 languages in the world.

America was named after Richard Ameryk, the chief patron of John Cabot.

Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is an anagram of Tokyo, the present capital.

The solar system
The distance from the earth to the Sun is 1 astronomical unit (A.U.).

The planets are 0.4 to 50 A.U. from the Sun.

The Kuiper belt is 35 to 1000 A.U. from the Sun.

The Oort Cloud is 30,000 to 100,000 A.U. from the Sun and reaches nearly halfway to the nearest star.

The Kuiper Belt is ring-shaped, but the Oort Cloud is a hollow sphere (just as the stars in a galaxy are arranged in a ring whereas the halo is spherical).

The ninth planet, which has been predicted, but not yet discovered or named, is between 200 and 1200 A.U. from the Sun (i.e. in the Kuiper Belt).

The first Kuiper Belt object was detected in 1992. By 2018 1300 had been found.

Extra-solar planets
Most accounts of the discovery of extra-solar planets begin with the discovery of 51 Pegasi b in 1995, but I think that the discovery of three exoplanets orbiting a neutron star in 1992 is more significant, not only because it happened earlier, but also because these planets observed Bode’s Law. Here are the relative distances from their stars of the first three planets of the solar system and of the three newly discovered planets.

Sun other star
Earth 1.00 1.00
Venus 0.72 0.77
Mercury 0.39 0.40

It seems to me that the correlation is too good to be explained by co-incidence.