William Lassell


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lassell, William

 

Born June 18, 1799, in Bolton, Lancashire; died Oct. 5, 1880, in Maidenhead. British astronomer-observer. Member of the London Royal Society (from 1849); president of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1870 to 1872.

In 1844–46, Lassell constructed a 2-ft reflector with the help of which he discovered in 1846 a satellite of Neptune, and in 1851, a third and fourth satellite of Uranus. In 1851 he moved to the island of Malta, where in 1861 he constructed a 4-ft reflector. In 1867, Lassell published a catalog of 600 nebulae discovered using this reflector.

REFERENCES

[Obituary.] Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1881, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 188–91.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
William Lassell (1799-1880), one of the leading observers and telescope makers of the 19th century, constructed impressive 24- and 48-inch reflectors that he transported to the island of Malta in search of an observing climate superior to that of his native England.
Neptune's largest moon, Triton, would be discovered just 17 days later by Lancastrian brewer and amateur astronomer William Lassell using his self-built telescope in West Derby, Liverpool.
The instrument he built--later to be known as the Nasmyth telescope --had a 10-inch diameter speculum which he said was so brilliant that it made his friend William Lassell's "mouth water".
A local brewer in the 19th century, William Lassell, used cast-iron telescopes to discover the moons of planets in the outer solar system ?
Another friend was the Liverpool brewer William Lassell (1799-1880), the discoverer of Triton, Neptune's largest moon.
Warming to her theme she adds: "Then there was William Lassell, one of Britain's greatest 19th century astronomers.
There were some remarkable characters, such as the `eagle-eyed' clergyman William Rutter Dawes; the irascible Sir James South; and William Lassell, who made his fortune in the brewery trade before turning to astronomy.
Later in 1846, the British astronomer William Lassell (1799-1880) discovered a satellite of Neptune, which he named Triton after a son of Neptune (Poseidon) in the Greek myths.
In 1960 Zigel wrote that he was puzzled by the fact that during the favorable Mars opposition in 1862, Phobos and Deimos had eluded experienced observers equipped with much larger telescopes than the 26-inch refractor employed by Hall in 1877, namely William Lassell's 48-inch reflector on the island of Malta and Lord Rosse's 72-inch "Leviathan of Parsontown" at Birr Castle in Ireland, the largest telescope in the world at the time.
A third, Ariel, was found by William Lassell on 1847 Sept 14, and the fourth, Umbriel, by O.
William Lassell was one of the earliest observers to propose that R Mon was composed of a luminous knot rather than a star.
perfectly round or perhaps a very little elliptical." In 1862 William Lassell sketched NGC 1535 as seen through his 48-inch reflector and called it "An extraordinary and beautiful Planetary Nebula." Both observers used telescopes with speculum-metal mirrors, which were considerably less reflective than today's aluminum-on-glass mirrors.