Wednesday 5 October 2016

Astrognome Scrapbook William Lassell

William Lassell 1799-1880

On October 5th 1880 the English astronomer William Lassell died.  He was born on June 18th, 1799 in Bolton, Lancashire.

Although working in the brewing industry he had a great interest in astronomy and in 1844 he constructed a 24 inch reflecting telescope. With this telescope, the first of its size to be set in an equatorial mounting, he discovered Triton the largest moon of Neptune on October 10th 1846, only 17 days after Neptune itself had been discovered.

In 1848 he jointly discovered the moon Hyperion which orbits Saturn. Lassell discovered Ariel and Umbriel which orbit Uranus in 1851–52 while at Malta, and there in 1861 he erected a 48-inch reflector, which he used to observe and catalogue hundreds of new nebulae.

 He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1849 and was president of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1870 to 1872.

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