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William Lassell 1799 - 1880, Telescopes, Planets and Drinking Beer
William Lassell 1799 - 1880, Telescopes, Planets and Drinking Beer

Thu, 23 Feb


Mycenae House.

William Lassell 1799 - 1880, Telescopes, Planets and Drinking Beer

Lassell made his fortune as a Liverpool brewer. This enabled him to pursue his passion for astronomy, particularly his keen interest in the outer planets. Described as one of the first “Grand Amateurs” of the Victorian age, William Lassell list of achievements is truly impressive.

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Time & Location

23 Feb 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

Mycenae House., 90 Mycenae Rd, London SE3 7SE, UK

About the Event

He Built large 24-inch and 48-inch metal mirror reflector telescopes using his own workshops. He mapped over 600 deep sky objects, over 175 years ago he discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, co-discovered Hyperion, a moon of Saturn, and went on to discover Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of the planet Uranus. This presentation is his story.


Gerard Gilligan first became interested in the great science of Astronomy when he was 8 years old, following the Apollo 8 mission around the Moon. He soon took a book off a school library shelf – and yes it was written by Patrick Moore. His mum brought Him his own astronomy book and a pair of binoculars for the Christmas of 1969, and after all that he was hooked!

He first joined Liverpool Astronomical Society almost 40 years ago, and have had two stints as Secretary 1986 – 1989, and 2009 – 2015, and serving as Society President 2000 – 02.

He has many interests within astronomy, and following man’s interest in exploring space, both with manned and unmanned space craft. He enjoy's giving talks on astronomy to both astronomical societies, groups, and during outreach events. But his particular interest is the history of Astronomy, both locally and nationally, and he is a founder member of the Society for the History of Astronomy.  He has served as SHA membership secretary, meeting Secretary, and was elected Chairman of the Society in 2018. The SHA celebrated its 20th anniversary year of foundation in 2022.

His ongoing research interests are Victorian astronomers William Lassell (1799 – 1880), William Benjamin Hutchinson,(c1900), Richard Compton Johnson (1840 – 1910), Bidston Observatory from 1866, and the History of Liverpool Astronomical Society from 1881 – present day.

He live's in Liverpool, Merseyside, recently retired from Liverpool University, School of Life Sciences, as a Technical Laboratory Supervisor after 42 years. He has a wife, two grown-up children, gold fish, plus 8 inch Dobsonian telescope to support.

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