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Rosse, William Parsons, 3d earl of

William Parsons Rosse, 3d earl of (rôs), 1800–1867, British astronomer and constructor of telescopes. He served as member of Parliament for King's Co., Ireland (1821–34), Irish representative peer (from 1845), president of the British Association (1843), president of the Royal Society (1849–54), and chancellor of the Univ. of Dublin (from 1862). His greatest interest was the construction of specula of large size for reflecting telescopes; he overcame defects caused by warping and cracking of surfaces in the cooling process and counteracted to a considerable degree other defects. His great reflecting telescope, with a speculum 6 ft (1.8 m) in diameter, the largest up to that time, was mounted in his park at Parsonstown (now Birr), Ireland, in 1845. For many years it was chiefly devoted to the study of the nebulae. Some nebulae that had eluded Sir William Herschel were resolved into groups of stars, many binary and triple stars were discovered, and the moon was more completely described.

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Parsons, William

William Parsons: see Rosse, William Parsons, 3d earl of.

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Parsons, William

Parsons, William

Parsons, William, English composer who flourished in the mid 16th century. He was active at Wells Cathedral, where he served as vicar-choral in 1555. Parsons contributed 81 of the 141 settings found in John Day’s The Whole Psalmes in Foure Parts (1563). He also wrote anthems, services, and motets, but few have survived in full.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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