Sir William Herschel, British astronomer

Sir William Herschel, British astronomer

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Caption: Sir Frederick William Herschel (1738-1822), German-born British astronomer, depicted on a Wedgwood plaque (original sculpted by John Flaxman 1755-1826). Herschel was born Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in Germany, but moved to Britain in 1755. He constructed several telescopes and used them to extensively study the night sky. He catalogued double stars and studied the Moon's surface, but is remembered most for his discovery of Uranus in 1781. He was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal Society that same year. He also discovered satellites of Saturn and Uranus, first detected infrared radiation and played a major role in setting up what became the Royal Astronomical Society. He was knighted in 1816.

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