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Public lecture by Professor Jim Bennett



Dr Felicity Henderson. Speaker: Professor Jim Bennett

In 1845 William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse, built the largest telescope in the world at his home, Birr Castle in Ireland. The combination of its extravagant ambition, uniqueness and inaccessibility brought to a head a problem that had run through the history of the reflecting telescope, where the foremost research instruments had been built by amateur instrument makers for their own ends. Lord Rosse fulfilled his ambition to have the world's largest telescope, but did he achieve his other aim, to bring the large reflector out of the sphere of the individual enthusiast and into mainstream of a shared astronomical practice?

Jim Bennett is Director of the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford, and is a leading historian of astronomy and scientific instruments.

Lectures are free, and all are welcome to attend, though as space is limited please contact us to reserve a seat.

This event is part of Astronomy: capturing light and dark, a day of activities themed around methods of observing to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy.