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Portrait of the astronomer William Herschel

Portrait of the astronomer William Herschel

H408/0296

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Herschel. Portrait 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 50 cm telescope with which he discovered two moons 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 also 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. From an 1833/37 book.

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