Today in space: the planet Uranus was discovered

March 13, 1781 and shortly after the discovery of the telescope, William Herschel He discovered the seventh planet of the solar system, Uranus.

Discovery of the seventh planet

William Herschel became interested in astronomy at the age of 35 and completely by accident. In the first step, he started making different telescopes and became skilled in designing and making specula mirrors that are used in making telescopes.

Herschel began to observe space objects and nebulae using his handiwork. In 1781, he discovered a space object and guessed it to be a comet or a nebula. Herschel’s later observations, when he noticed the object moving, suggested that it was a comet, and even when he reported it as a discovery to the Royal Society, he stuck to his belief. But then it was absolutely proved that what William Herschel thought was a comet, is the planet Uranus.

Before Herschel discovered Uranus, other astronomers had already seen it, but no one realized it was Uranus, they thought it was the mass of a star. For two years, Herschel and other astronomers debated whether the star was a comet or a planet.

Uranus and its rings. The planet’s auroras are visible in the image.

In recognition of this historic discovery, William was accepted as a member of the British Royal Society and received a significant cash award from the king. Six years after this discovery, Herschel also discovered the two moons of Titania and the planet Oberon, so that his name became more famous in astronomy. The telescope built by William Herschel was also the largest telescope in the world for 50 years.

Naming Uranus

Uranus did not have a name until 1850. Herschel wanted it to be Star George after King George III But astronomers outside of England were not so happy with it. Finally, the German astronomer It was Yohancalled it Uranus after the ancient Greek sky god.

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