HENCOUP & MARTEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENCOUP & MARTEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Whirlpool Galaxy. Illustration of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51, NGC 5194) made by William Parsons, third Earl of Rosse (1800-1867). Rosse, an Irish astronomer and telescope builder, made this illustration by using a giant reflecting telescope which he built. Completed in 1845, it became known as the "Leviathan of Corkstown". The telescope was 15m long and had a primary mirror with a diameter of 1.8m. With this instrument he was the first to recognise the spiral shape of some fifteen 'nebulae', including M51. In 1850 Rosse published his work on nebulae in a book entitled "Observations on the Nebulae".
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