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Leviathan trip ?


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Hi all, I and several other members of MSAS, astro club have just returned from a 3 day trip to Birr Castle, to savour ‘the Great Telescope’, or ‘Leviathan’ scope as it is sometimes called. 

The 6’ diameter Newtonian scope was the largest in the world from 1845 - 1914. The Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the scope in the 1840’s. It was used by many people, (including Dreyer the NGC compiler). With the scope, M51 the whirlpool galaxy and other nebulae were seen to have spiral structures, ‘nebulae’ then included objects we now know as galaxies outside our own Milky Way galaxy. It was interesting to work out how the scope worked, it’s limitations in elevation and azimuth and how the platforms were utilised to allow access to the eyepiece etc







The estate is large, well maintained and interesting to look around and the science centre was most fascinating and enjoyable too.


The I-LOFAR is a low frequency radio telescope is also based at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly in Ireland. It connects to the International LOFAR Telescope network which stretches nearly 2,000 km from Ireland to Poland.


We flew to Dublin from E. Midlands airport and hired a private minibus to get us to Birr and back. We stayed in a hotel called Dooly’s, which was a quarter of a mile from Birr castle.


All in all a great trip shared with like minded friendly enthusiasts! Irish breakfasts, Guinness, Jameson’s whisky and Irish bands! The weather was sunny too! 


What’s not to like!


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An epic bit of engineering, they had a Graham too! ?


Glad you enjoyed yourself. 

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