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Sir William Herschel, British astronomer

Sir William Herschel, British astronomer

H408/0488

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sir Frederick William Herschel (1738-1822), German-born British astronomer, wearing his medal as a knight of the Royal Guelphic Order (awarded 1816). Herschel was born Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in Germany, but moved to Britain in 1755. He constructed several telescopes. 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. This portrait is a copy of an oil painting by Artaud.

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