William Herschel

William Herschel

William Herschel

Sir William Herschel was a German-born British musician who became interested in astronomy later in life and built his own telescopes. It was with one of these instruments that Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781.

Herschel's discovery brought him many honours and allowed him to become a fulltime astronomer employed by George III. He then studied Saturn and discovered the moons Enceladus and Mimas. He also discovered Uranus's moons Oberon and Titania and studied and catalogued double stars and nebulae.

Photo: Portrait of William Herschel (Science Source/Science Photo Library)

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William Herschel

About William Herschel

The German-born British astronomer discovers Uranus.

About William Herschel

Frederick William Herschel,KH, FRS (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel; 15 November 1738 – 25 August 1822) was a Hanoverian-born British astronomer, technical expert, and composer. Born in the Electorate of Hanover, Herschel followed his father into the Military Band of Hanover, before migrating to Great Britain at the age of nineteen. He became famous for his discovery of the planet Uranus, along with two of its major moons, Titania and Oberon, and also discovered two moons of Saturn. In addition, he was the first person to discover the existence of infrared radiation. He is also known for the twenty-four symphonies, and many other musical pieces, that he composed.

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