Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

William Herschel (1738 – 1822)


German-born British astronomer, technical expert, telescope maker, organist and composer who became famous for discovering Uranus.
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William Herschel
William Herschel was the first man to give a reasonably correct picture of the shape of our star-system or galaxy; he was the best telescope-maker of his time, and possibly the greatest observer who ever lived.
Herschel quotes
I compared it to H Geminorum and the small star in the quartile between Auriga and Gemini, and finding it so much larger than either of them, suspected it to be a comet.
Herschel
Being self-taught, he had not known that astronomers were expected to focus on the solar system. Instead, he explored the construction of the universe, and it was on later generations that the questions he asked and the methods he devised to answer them were to have profound influence.




Herschel William quotes
In consequence of the harassing and fatiguing life he had led during the winter months, he used to retire to bed with a bason of milk or glass of water, and Smith's Harmonics and Optics, Ferguson's Astronomy, etc., and so went to sleep buried under his favourite authors; and his first thoughts on rising were how to obtain instruments for viewing those objects himself of which he had been reading.
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