Leviathan of Parsonstown

Six-foot telescope, three-foot telescope, and castle.
The Leviathan, 1885
Reconstructed telescope seen from a distance
The Irish low-frequency array (I-LOFAR) radio telescope in the castle grounds.

Historic reflecting telescope of 72 in aperture, which was the largest telescope in the world from 1845 until the construction of the 100 in Hooker Telescope in California in 1917.

- Leviathan of Parsonstown

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John Louis Emil Dreyer

Danish astronomer who spent most of his career working in Ireland.

John Louis Emil Dreyer.

There he worked as the assistant of Lord Rosse (the son and successor of the Lord Rosse who built the Leviathan of Parsonstown telescope).

Mount Wilson Observatory

Astronomical observatory in Los Angeles County, California, United States.

At the base of the 150-foot Solar Tower.
Top of the Solar tower containing the mirrors
The 60 in telescope at Mt. Wilson
Five foot telescope climbs the mountain
Steel dome of the 60-inch telescope in 1909
The 100-inch Hooker telescope at Mt Wilson fundamentally changed the scientific view of the Universe
Hooker Telescope enclosure
The mirror of the Hooker telescope on its way up the Mount Wilson Toll Road on a Mack Truck in 1917.
Workmen assembling the polar axis of the Hooker telescope
One of six telescopes of the CHARA array
The Snow solar telescope (1906)

Lord Rosse's Leviathan of Parsonstown, a 72-inch (1.8-meter) telescope built in 1845, was, by the 1890s, out of commission.

Birr Castle

Large castle in the town of Birr in County Offaly, Ireland.

The castle
Leviathan of Parsonstown
The Irish low-frequency array I-LOFAR radio telescope in the castle grounds
Patrick Moore signing his book "The Astronomy of Birr Castle" at NIHE – 1985

In turn, his son, the 3rd Earl of Rosse, was responsible for the construction of the great telescope at Birr.

Speculum metal

Mixture of around two-thirds copper and one-third tin, making a white brittle alloy that can be polished to make a highly reflective surface.

The speculum metal mirror from William Herschel's 1.2-meter (49.5-inch) diameter "40-foot telescope" at the Science Museum in London
Telescopes with speculum metal mirrors were a large breakthrough in aperture, but their drawbacks fueled competition from refractors
The metal mirror of the Leviathan, the largest telescope mirror until the 100-inch Hooker telescope of 1917 (a metal-on-glass mirror)
Looking down the insides of an old reflecting telescope. It's not clear whether the reflector in this case is speculum metal, but it illustrates how a reflecting mirror rests at the inside of tube. Dating to the 18th century, this telescope would have originally used a metal mirror.

Speculum metal was noted for its use in the metal mirrors of reflecting telescopes, and famous examples of its use were Newton's telescope, the Leviathan of Parsonstown, and William Herschel's telescope used to discover the planet Uranus.

William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

Anglo-Irish astronomer, naturalist, and engineer.

William, 3rd Earl of Rosse
Drawing of the Whirlpool Galaxy by Rosse in 1845
Lord Rosse
The largest telescope of the 19th century, the Leviathan of Parsonstown.
Parsons' plaque in Birr Castle

His 72-inch telescope, built in 1845 and colloquially known as the "Leviathan of Parsonstown", was the world's largest telescope, in terms of aperture size, until the early 20th century.

Birr, County Offaly

Town in County Offaly, Ireland.

Main Street
Georgian Birr – Oxmantown Mall
Cumberland Square (now Emmet Square) c.1880-1900. The statue was removed from the pillar in 1915
The castle.
Telescope and support structure
John's Hall, John's Mall, Seat of Birr Town Council
Birr Court House
Birr Theatre and Arts Centre
St Brendan's Church of Ireland

The town is known for Birr Castle and gardens, home of the Parsons family, and also site of the Leviathan of Parsonstown, the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years, and a large modern radio telescope.

Lawrence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse

Member of the Irish peerage and an amateur astronomer.

Lawrence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse
Birr Castle, County Offaly
Parsons' plaque in Birr Castle

He was born at Birr Castle, Parsonstown, King's County, Ireland, the son and heir of the astronomer William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse who built the "Leviathan of Parsonstown" telescope, largest of its day, and his wife, the Countess of Rosse (née Mary Field), an amateur astronomer and pioneering photographer.

Michael Tubridy

Irish musician, step dancer and structural engineer.

In 1994, he was asked to re-design the Rosse Six Foot Telescope prior to its reconstruction in 1996/1997.

Mary Rosse

British Irish amateur astronomer, architect, furniture designer, and pioneering photographer.

In the early 1840s the couple became interested in astronomy, and Mary Rosse helped her husband, Lord Rosse, build a number of giant telescopes, including the so-called Leviathan Telescope, that was considered a technical marvel in its time.

Edward William Brayley

English geographer, librarian, and science author.

Headquarters of the Royal Society in Carlton House Terrace in London

"Lord Rosse's telescopes";