William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, was an Irish astronomer and politician. Born in 1800, Lord Rosse constructed the Leviathan, a 72-inch aperture (1.8m) telescope located at Birr Castle in County Offaly, Ireland. The instrument remained the largest ever built until 1917 when it was superseded by the 100-inch (2.54m) Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory.

Lord Rosse discovered 15 spiral nebulae (now known to be galaxies) and took some of the earliest photographs of the Moon. He was also responsible for the naming of the Crab Nebula.

Image: William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (Royal Institution of Great Britain/SPL)

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William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

Introduction

A 19th century Irish astronomer builds the world's largest telescope.

About William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse KP (17 June 1800 – 31 October 1867) was an Anglo-Irish astronomer who had several telescopes built. His 72-inch telescope "Leviathan", built 1845, was the world's largest telescope until the early 20th century. From 1807 until 1841, he was styled as Baron Oxmantown.

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