William Herschel

Astronomer and composer. Born 15 November 1738. Died 25 August 1822
William Herschel
William Herschel

William Herschel Biography (Wikipedia)

Frederick William Herschel, (15 November 1738 – 25 August 1822) KH, FRS (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel; ) was a German-born British astronomer and composer of music. Frequently he collaborated with his younger sister and fellow astronomer Caroline Lucretia Herschel (1750-1848). Born in the Electorate of Hanover, William Herschel followed his father into the Military Band of Hanover, before emigrating to Great Britain in 1757 at the age of nineteen.

Herschel constructed his first large telescope in 1774, after which he spent nine years carrying out sky surveys to investigate double stars. Herschel published catalogues of nebulae in 1802 (2,500 objects) and in 1820 (5,000 objects). The resolving power of the Herschel telescopes revealed that many objects called nebulae in the Messier catalogue were actually clusters of stars. On 13 March 1781 while making observations he made note of a new object in the constellation of Gemini. This would, after several weeks of verification and consultation with other astronomers, be confirmed to be a new planet, eventually given the name of Uranus. This was the first planet to be discovered since antiquity, and Herschel became famous overnight. As a result of this discovery, George III appointed him Court Astronomer. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and grants were provided for the construction of new telescopes.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

William Herschel Tracks

Sort by

Back to artist