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The Cosmic Mystery Tour$
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Nicholas Mee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831860.001.0001

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From the Leviathan to the Behemoth

From the Leviathan to the Behemoth

(p.110) From the Leviathan to the Behemoth
The Cosmic Mystery Tour

Nicholas Mee

Oxford University Press

The world’s biggest telescopes are reflectors and every increase in size has given us a new perspective on the universe. The Rosse telescope, built in the middle of the nineteenth century by Lord Rosse in County Offaly, Ireland, was nicknamed the Leviathan of Parsonstown. It was the world’s biggest telescope for over half a century. Rosse’s drawings of the celestial objects that he viewed through the telescope were widely circulated. His drawing of the Whirlpool Galaxy is thought to have inspired Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is now constructing the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile. It will be the largest telescope in the world when completed.

Keywords:   ELT, Leviathan of Parsonstown, Rosse Telescope, Starry Night, Van Gogh, Whirlpool Galaxy, ESO

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