Portrait of Sir William Herschel

Portrait of Sir William Herschel


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Portrait of Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), German-British astronomer. Herschel was born in Hanover, moving to England after deserting from the army. Whilst teaching music, he started to study astronomy. He and his sister made their own telescopes, the best of their time, and were soon making important discoveries. Herschel was the first to describe binary stars, and to propose a layout of our galaxy. In 1781 he discovered an object which he thought was a comet. He later showed this to be the planet Uranus. In later life he discovered two moons of Uranus, and two of Saturn, and discovered infra-red radiation in the spectrum of sunlight. He was knighted in 1816.

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