Leviathan of Parsonstown Talk on Wed., April 10

Built in 1845, the telescope called the “Leviathan of Parsonstown” was the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years. Join amateur astronomer Dwight Lanpher at the Jesup Memorial Library on Wednesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. as he shares pictures and stories from his trip to see this telescope in person.

The 3rd Earl of Rosse built the telescope to get a closer look at nebulae in the night sky. To do this Rosse and his workers successfully made two 72-inch mirrors that were alternately mounted in a 54-foot long tube, suspended between two purpose-built castle walls. Using this telescope, Rosse noted and drew a large number of nebulae, including some later recognized as galaxies and with his telescope he was the first to see the spiral structure of a galaxy, M51 or the ‘Whirlpool Galaxy.’ Lanpher visited Birr Castle, County Offaly, Ireland to examine “the Great Telescope,” and he will share images from his visit and explore some of the technical details of how the telescope works and what modifications were made during a $1,200,000 renovation in 1995.

When not visiting ancient telescopes, Lanpher travels throughout New England and eastern Canada attending astronomy meetings as liaison for clubs in Maine, New Hampshire and a few in Massachusetts and observing at their star parties. Professionally, Lanpher works as an electrical engineer.

For more information on the Acadia Astronomical Society, contact them at acadiaastronomicalsociety@gmail.com, and for more information about the talk contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 or mrice@jesuplibrary.org.