Leviathan of Parsonstown

The Leviathan of Parsonstown

Leviathan of Parsonstown

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.

With his great telescope, the Leviathan of Parsonstown, Parsons identified the spiral shape of what were then called nebulae, but are now known to be galaxies outside the Milky Way.

Image: The Leviathan of Parsonstown (credit: Royal Astronomical Society/SPL)

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The Leviathan of Parsonstown

Introduction

19th century astronomers use a great telescope to study spiral galaxies.

About Leviathan of Parsonstown

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).

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