SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
William Herschel. Coloured engraving of the German-British astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel (1738-1822). He discovered the planet Uranus in 1781, resulting in his appointment as private astronomer to King George III of England. He financed the construction of a 50cm telescope with which he discovered two satellites of Uranus (Titania and Oberon) and two of Saturn (Mimas and Enceladus). In 1783 he discovered the intrinsic motion of the Sun through space. He recognised the nature of the Milky Way as a galaxy by counting the number of stars in different directions. He found that most lie in the galactic plane and the least at the celestial poles.
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