After it was completed in 1845 by workmen directed by William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, the 72-inch (1.8m) aperture telescope at Birr Castle, Ireland, remained the largest telescope in the world until 1917 when the 100-inch (2.54m) Hooker telescope went into action at the Mount Wilson Observatory, California.
Image: The Leviathan of Parsonstown (credit: Royal Astronomical Society/SPL)
19th century astronomers use a great telescope to study spiral galaxies.
Pete Lawrence explains how to find the Crab Nebula.
The Sky at Night guest Pete Lawrence explains how to find the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant, in the night sky and discusses its beauty and history.
Patrick Moore discusses supernovae and the famous Crab.
Sir Patrick Moore and his guest Professor Sir Francis Graham-Smith discuss supernovae that create clouds of gas like the famous Crab Nebula.
Leviathan of Parsonstown is the unofficial name of the Rosse six-foot telescope. This is a historic reflecting telescope of 72 in (1.8 m) aperture, which was the largest telescope in the world from 1845 until the construction of the 100 in (2.5 m) Hooker Telescope in 1917. The Rosse six-foot telescope was built by William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse on his estate, Birr Castle, at Parsonstown (now Birr in County Offaly, Ireland).