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Book on William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse

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#1 javad

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 09:10 PM

Hello comrades! I am very much fascinated by the discoveries of William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, to me he had the JWST of his time! However cannot seem to find any books on that matter. Recommendations? Thanks!


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#2 gstrumol

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 09:31 PM

Aah yes, the Leviathan of Parsonstown and Birr Castle! 

 

There are obviously links like: https://www.skyatnig...viathans-legacy

 

You might also look at The History of the Telescope, by Henry C. King. A very interesting read https://www.amazon.c...y/dp/0486432653

 

Much of chapter 10 is devoted to his work.


Edited by gstrumol, 15 March 2024 - 09:35 PM.

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#3 BrentKnight

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 11:36 PM

Here's one: William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse: Astronomy and the castle in nineteenth-century Ireland

 

715RJH5nscL._SL1360_.jpg

 

And a rather more rare one by Patrick Moore: The Astronomy of Birr Castle

 

51zJPLjj8vL.jpg

 

I didn't realize the first one had come out in paperback.  Just grabbed a copy for myself...

 

Another very detailed work that covers Rosse and his observations (along with other visual observers) is Observing by Hand by Omar W. Nasim.

 

Wolfgang Steinicke's book Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters has quite a bit about Rosse and his assistants as this book is pretty much a history of the NGC and observations from Birr Castle make up a good portion of that catalog.

 

Great Astronomers by Robert S. Ball also has a short biography.


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#4 helpwanted

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 11:27 AM

I came to this thread to answer with: Observing by Hand, but BrentKnight beat me to it!


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#5 BrentKnight

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 02:22 PM

I came to this thread to answer with: Observing by Hand, but BrentKnight beat me to it!

A double recommendation counts even more!


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#6 Pat Rochford

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Posted 17 March 2024 - 04:11 PM

Hello comrades! I am very much fascinated by the discoveries of William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, to me he had the JWST of his time! However cannot seem to find any books on that matter. Recommendations? Thanks!

 

There is also The Scientific Papers of William Parsons, Third earl of Rosse 1800 - 1867

        Cambridge Library Collection, 2011

 

Loads of information and sketches from his work over the years.


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#7 javad

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Posted 18 March 2024 - 12:49 AM

Thanks to everybody for chipping in! I realized I had The History of the Telescope in my possession and started reading the X chapter, looks like Rosse was into segmented mirrors way before than JWST(I am also intrigued now about the previous chapters, apparently people thought refractors could supersede reflectors  at the time)! Went ahead and ordered The Scientific Papers of William Parsons, Third earl of Rosse 1800 - 1867 as well. Will try to look into the other suggestions when I get a chance.


Edited by javad, 18 March 2024 - 12:50 AM.

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#8 JohnFlannery

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Posted 19 March 2024 - 05:36 PM

I echo all the recommendations above and hope you get a chance to visit historic Birr Castle. It is just 20 miles from my home town (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary).

An article of interest about historic Irish observatories is at the link below. Our island has a rich astronomical tradition and it continues to this day with Ireland contributing to the JWST, Europe’s Solar Orbiter mission, and people I know developing EirSat-1, launched last December.

http://homepage.eirc...ticle/irish.htm

Radio astronomy is now to the fore at Birr Castle with the westernmost node of LOFAR established there in recent years and being used by researchers countrywide. One of club members was the engineer involved with the restoration of the Great Leviathan.

I had the opportunity to look through the restored telescope a few years ago - a long line had formed so I just saw a few stars in my brief glance through the eyepiece but it was a thrilling experience.

Birr was the venue of a now defunct star party which people like Stephen O’Meara, John Dobson, David Eicher, Kelly Beatty, David Levy, Fred Espenak, Sue French, and other luminaries were guest speakers over the years. We observed the night sky each clear evening in the lee of the Leviathan.

If you can source a copy, Mary Mulvhill’s book “Ingenious Ireland” contains many wonderful vignettes of the inventors, scientists, and natural wonders across Irish history. Mary was a very highly regarded science communicator until her untimely passing in 2015.

John

Edited by JohnFlannery, 19 March 2024 - 05:47 PM.

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#9 obrazell

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Posted 20 March 2024 - 03:10 AM

You might also be interested in this book

 

https://www.amazon.c...books,66&sr=1-1


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#10 Pat Rochford

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 10:17 PM

I echo all the recommendations above and hope you get a chance to visit historic Birr Castle. It is just 20 miles from my home town (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary).
 

 

John,

 

My wife and I spent most of last winter (2023) in Clare, specifically Kilshanny.  We spent a day and night in Birr in early March ... the day it snowed actually.  It kind of put a different look on the 72" as well as the gardens.

 

And added an interesting touch to driving back along those twisting, now 'white' roads, which nicely matched my knuckles on the steering wheel.  Thankfully, there was a pint or three at our regular pub that evening to take the edge off.  Growing up in a semi-tropical climate, not to mention normally driving on the other side of the road, did not quite prepare me for that day's road trip.


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#11 Mike Swan

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Posted 27 March 2024 - 09:22 AM

Pat,

 

Now that's really weird. You could have stopped by for a cup of tea, a chat and a look through my old 12" Newtonian!

 

Mike Swan, Kilshanny.



#12 Pat Rochford

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Posted 27 March 2024 - 12:10 PM

Pat,

 

Now that's really weird. You could have stopped by for a cup of tea, a chat and a look through my old 12" Newtonian!

 

Mike Swan, Kilshanny.

 

Mike, are you on N67 by any chance?  And have a domed observatory?  



#13 Mike Swan

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Posted 27 March 2024 - 05:21 PM

Pat, that's me. A grey 50 old Austin Roberts 8ft diameter fiberglass observatory.


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#14 JohnFlannery

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 03:56 PM

Sorry for the late reply Pat. Definitely get in touch if you are in the area again.

 

Paul Tipper and I met you at the Whirlpool Star Party one year when we observed in the lee of the Leviathan and you guys then headed on to Dooley’s. I casually picked up a copy of Amateur Astronomy

magazine from Bob Summerfield’s table at RTMC Astro-Expo the following year and was amazed to find an article by yourself about the star party, including the nightclub visit! 
 

all the best.

 

john


Edited by JohnFlannery, 01 April 2024 - 03:57 PM.


#15 Pat Rochford

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 07:50 PM

Sorry for the late reply Pat. Definitely get in touch if you are in the area again.

 

Paul Tipper and I met you at the Whirlpool Star Party one year when we observed in the lee of the Leviathan and you guys then headed on to Dooley’s. I casually picked up a copy of Amateur Astronomy

magazine from Bob Summerfield’s table at RTMC Astro-Expo the following year and was amazed to find an article by yourself about the star party, including the nightclub visit! 
 

all the best.

 

john

 

2005. I'll remember that trip forever ... thanks for making me feel at home.  And please give my best to Paul.  Any chance the Whirlpool Star Party will ever make a comeback? 




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