William Herschel, British astronomer

William Herschel, British astronomer

C002/0919

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Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), German-born British astronomer. 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 (shown in book at lower left). 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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