Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Uranus

The Edinburgh Annual Register Volume 15, 1822, edited by Walter Scott, contains a biography of William Herschel, who died that year, and who discovered the planet Uranus on March 13th, 1781. 

‘…In the course of his observations, which were continued for eighteen months, he had the good fortune to remark, that a star, which had been recorded by Bode as a fixed star, was progressively changing its position.  Prolonged attention to it enabled him to determine that it was a hitherto undiscovered planet…This important discovery he made on the 13th of March 1781, and bestowed on the planet the name of Georgium Sidus, in complement to the King of England, but the astronomers on the Continent chose to call it Herschell, in honour of the discoverer, an appellation that was subsequently changed to Uranus, as being consistent with the received astronomical nomenclature…’

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