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Encyclopedia > William Herschel
William Herschel
William Herschel

Sir Frederick William Herschel, FRS KH (15 November 1738-25 August 1822) was a German-born British astronomer and composer who became famous for discovering Uranus. He also discovered infrared radiation and made many other discoveries in astronomy. Willian Herschel is the name of: Sir William Herschel (1738–1822), British astronomer and composer who became famous for discovering the planet Uranus. ... Image File history File linksMetadata William_Herschel01. ... Image File history File linksMetadata William_Herschel01. ... The Fellowship of the Royal Society was founded in 1660. ... The Royal Guelphic Order, sometimes also referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, was a British order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV). ... is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 4 - Court Jew Joseph Suss Oppenheimer is executed in Württenberg April 15 - Premiere in London of Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... An astronomer or astrophysicist is a person whose area of interest is astronomy or astrophysics. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 120 kPa Hydrogen 83% Helium 15% Methane 1. ... Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than visible light, but shorter than microwave radiation. ...

Contents

Early life and musical activities

He was born Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in Hanover, Germany, as one of ten children (of whom four died very young), of Isaac Herschel (1707-1767) a member of the Hanover Military Band. Although Isaac was of Jewish birth [1], his wife was a Christian and the children were raised as Christians. In 1755 the Hanoverian Guards regiment, in whose band William and his brother Jacob were engaged, was ordered to England. At the time, the crowns of England and Hanover were united under George II. He learned English quickly and, at age nineteen, he changed his name to Frederick William Herschel. , Hanover(i) (German: , IPA: ), on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The House of Hanover (the Hanoverians) is a German royal dynasty which has ruled the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, the Kingdom of Hanover and the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... George II (George Augustus; 10 November 1683 – 25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death. ...


He became a successful music teacher and bandleader, played the violin, the oboe and, later, the organ. He composed numerous musical works, including 24 symphonies and many concertos, as well as some church music. His music is largely forgotten today. After a career leading orchestras in Newcastle, Leeds and Halifax (he was organist at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Halifax, West Yorkshire), he became organist of the Octagon Chapel, Bath, in which town he was also Director of Public Concerts. His sister Caroline came to England and lived with him there in New King Street. His brothers Dietrich, Alexander and Jacob (1734-1792) also appeared as musicians of Bath. The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. ... The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Organ in Katharinenkirche, Frankfurt am Main, Germany The organ is a keyboard instrument played using one or more manuals and a pedalboard. ... A symphony is an extended piece of music for orchestra, especially one in the form of a sonata. ... The term concerto (plural concertos or concerti) usually refers to a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. ... Bath is a city in Somerset, England most famous for its baths fed by three hot springs. ... Caroline Lucretia Herschel Caroline Lucretia Herschel (March 16, 1750 – January 9, 1848) was a German-born English astronomer. ...


Astronomy

Planets discovered: 1
Uranus 13 March 1781
Moons discovered: 4
Oberon 11 January 1787
Titania 11 January 1787
Enceladus 28 August 1789
Mimas 17 September 1789

The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ... For other uses, see Uranus (disambiguation). ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about Earths moon. ... Atmospheric pressure 0 kPa Oberon (oe-bur-on) is the outermost of the major moons of the planet Uranus. ... is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1787 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Atmospheric pressure   Titania (ti-taan-ee-É™ or tye-tan-ee-É™) is the largest moon of Uranus. ... is the 11th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1787 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Atmosphere Surface pressure: trace, significant spatial variability[8][9] Composition: 91% Water vapour 4% Nitrogen 3. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Mimas (mee-mÉ™s or mye-mÉ™s, IPA: , Greek Μίμᾱς, rarely Μίμανς) is a moon of Saturn that was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Discovery of Uranus

Herschel's music led him to an interest in mathematics, and hence to astronomy. This interest grew stronger after 1773, and he built some telescopes and made the acquaintance of Nevil Maskelyne. He observed the Moon, measuring the heights of lunar mountains, and also worked on a catalog of double stars. Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Nevil Maskelyne. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... When two stars are so nearly in the same direction as seen from Earth that they appear to be a single star to the naked eye but may be separated by the use of telescopes, they are referred to as a double star. ...


The turning point in Herschel's life was 13 March 1781, while he was living at 19 New King Street, Bath, when he made the first sighting of the planet Uranus. This made him famous and enabled him to turn to astronomy full-time. Naming the new planet Georgium Sidus, Latin for "George's Star", in honour of King George III also brought him favour (the name didn't stick - in France, where reference to the English king was to be avoided if possible, the planet was known as 'Herschel' until the name 'Uranus' was universally adopted). That same year, Herschel was awarded the Copley Medal and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1782, he was appointed "The King’s Astronomer" and he and his sister subsequently moved to Datchet (then in Buckinghamshire but now in Berkshire) on 1 August 1782. He continued his work as a telescope maker, selling a number of them to other astronomers. is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 120 kPa Hydrogen 83% Helium 15% Methane 1. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... “George III” redirects here. ... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ... Datchet is a quintessential English village on the banks of the River Thames, situated in the unitary authority of Windsor and Maidenhead in the county of Berkshire. ... Buckinghamshire (abbreviated Bucks) is one of the home counties in South East England. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1782 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Work with his sister Caroline

In 1783 he gave Caroline a telescope and she began to make astronomical discoveries in her own right, particularly comets. Caroline also served as his full-time assistant, taking notes while he observed at the telescope. Caroline Lucretia Herschel Caroline Lucretia Herschel (March 16, 1750 – January 9, 1848) was a German-born English astronomer. ... Comet Hale-Bopp Comet West For other uses, see Comet (disambiguation). ...


In June 1785, owing to damp conditions, he and Caroline moved to Clay Hall in Old Windsor. Clay Hall (or Clayhall Farm) had been owned by Samuel Foote, father of Topham Foote whose bust by Peter Scheemakers is in Windsor Parish Church. Topham's mother sold the farm to her brother Richard Topham who willed it to Sidney Bleuclerk. On 3 April 1786, William Herschel moved his family to a new residence on Windsor Road in Slough. He lived the rest of his life in this residence, which came to be known as Observatory House. It is no longer standing, having been demolished in 1963 to make way for a high-rise office building. This article is about the English town. ... is the 93rd day of the year (94th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1786 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Slough (pronounced ) is a town and unitary authority (Borough of Slough) in England. ...


On 7 May 1788, he married the widow Mary Pitt (née Baldwin) at St Laurence's Church, Upton in Slough. His sister Caroline then moved to separate lodgings, but continued to work as his assistant. is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1788 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... One of three churches in the modern parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey, Saint Laurences Church is the oldest building in the borough of Slough, in Berkshire. ...

William Herschel
William Herschel

Image File history File links William_Herschel. ... Image File history File links William_Herschel. ...

Herschel's telescopes

During the course of his career, he constructed more than four hundred telescopes. The largest and most famous of these was a reflecting telescope with a 40 ft (12 m) focal length and an aperture 49½ inches (126 cm) in diameter. On 28 August 1789, his first night of observation using this instrument, he discovered a new moon of Saturn. A second moon followed within the first month of observation. The 40 ft telescope proved very cumbersome, however, and most of his observations were done with a smaller telescope of 20 ft (6.1 m) focal length. Herschel discovered that unfilled telescope apertures can be used to obtain high angular resolution, something which became the essential basis for interferometric imaging in astronomy (in particular Aperture Masking Interferometry and hypertelescopes). A reflecting telescope (reflector) is an optical telescope which uses a combination of curved and plane (flat) mirrors to reflect light and form an image (catoptric), rather than lenses to refract or bend light to form an image (dioptric). ... This article is about focal length related to lenses and systems of lenses. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 140 kPa Hydrogen >93% Helium >5% Methane 0. ... a) shows a simple experiment using an aperture mask in a re-imaged aperture plane. ... Diagram showing a possible layout for an astronomical interferometer, with the mirrors laid out in a parabolic arrangement (similar to the shape of a conventional telescope mirror). ...


Further discoveries

In his later career, Herschel discovered two moons of Saturn, Mimas and Enceladus; as well as two moons of Uranus, Titania and Oberon. He did not give these moons their names; rather, they were named by his son John in 1847 and 1852, respectively, well after his death. Mimas (mee-mÉ™s or mye-mÉ™s, IPA: , Greek Μίμᾱς, rarely Μίμανς) is a moon of Saturn that was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. ... Atmosphere Surface pressure: trace, significant spatial variability[8][9] Composition: 91% Water vapour 4% Nitrogen 3. ... Atmospheric pressure   Titania (ti-taan-ee-É™ or tye-tan-ee-É™) is the largest moon of Uranus. ... Atmospheric pressure 0 kPa Oberon (oe-bur-on) is the outermost of the major moons of the planet Uranus. ... John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel (7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English mathematician and astronomer. ...

The 40 foot telescope

He worked on creating an extensive catalog of nebulae. He continued to work on double stars, and was the first to discover that most double stars are not mere optical doubles as had been supposed previously, but are true binary stars, thus providing the first proof that Newton's laws of gravitation apply outside the solar system. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (750x761, 71 KB) Summary Herschels 40 foot telescope. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (750x761, 71 KB) Summary Herschels 40 foot telescope. ... The Triangulum Emission Nebula NGC 604 The Pillars of Creation from the Eagle Nebula For other uses, see Nebula (disambiguation). ... When two stars are so nearly in the same direction as seen from Earth that they appear to be a single star to the naked eye but may be separated by the use of telescopes, they are referred to as a double star. ... This topic is about the astronomical phenomenon. ... For the band of the same name, see: Binary Star (band) Hubble image of the Sirius binary system, in which Sirius B can be clearly distinguished (lower left). ...


From studying the proper motion of stars, he was the first to realize that the solar system is moving through space, and he determined the approximate direction of that movement. He also studied the structure of the Milky Way and concluded that it was in the shape of a disk. The proper motion of a star is the motion of the position of the star in the sky (the change in direction in which we see it, as opposed to the radial velocity) after eliminating the improper motions of the stars, which affect their measured coordinates but are not real... This article is about the Solar System. ... For other uses, see Milky Way (disambiguation). ...


He also coined the word "asteroid", meaning star-like (from the Greek asteroeides, aster "star" + -eidos "form, shape"), in 1802 (shortly after Olbers discovered the second minor planet, 2 Pallas, in late March of the same year), to describe the star-like appearance of the small moons of the giant planets and of the minor planets; the planets all show discs, by comparison. 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... Categories: Astronomers stubs | 1758 births | 1840 deaths | German astronomers | German physicists | Lists of asteroids ... 2 Pallas (pal-us, Greek Παλλάς) was the first asteroid discovered after 1 Ceres. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Despite his numerous important scientific discoveries, Herschel was not averse to wild speculation. In particular, he believed every planet was inhabited,[citation needed] even the Sun: he believed that the Sun had a cool, solid surface protected from its hot atmosphere by an opaque layer of cloud, and that a race of beings adapted to their strange environment lived there and had enormous heads.[citation needed] Sol redirects here. ...


Discovery of infrared radiation

Herschel discovered infrared radiation by passing sunlight through a prism and holding a thermometer just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. This thermometer was meant to be a control to measure the ambient air temperature in the room. He was shocked when it showed a higher temperature than the visible spectrum. Further experimentation led to Herschel's conclusion that there must be an invisible form of light beyond the visible spectrum. Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than visible light, but shorter than microwave radiation. ... Prism splitting light High Resolution Solar Spectrum Sunlight in the broad sense is the total spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. ... Diagram of a triangular prism, dispersing light Lamps as seen through a prism. ... It has been suggested that List of temperature sensors be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Red (disambiguation). ... “Visible light” redirects here. ... Look up Serendipity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... “Visible light” redirects here. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... “Visible light” redirects here. ...


Family and death

William and Mary had one child, John, born at Observatory House on 7 March 1792. In 1816, William was made a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order by the Prince Regent entitling him to the prefix 'Sir'. He helped to found the Astronomical Society of London in 1820, which in 1831 received a royal charter and became the Royal Astronomical Society. John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel (7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English mathematician and astronomer. ... is the 66th day of the year (67th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Royal Guelphic Order, sometimes also referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, was a British order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV). ... George IV (George Augustus Frederick) (12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Hanover from 29 January 1820 until his death. ... The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research (mainly carried on at the time by gentleman astronomers rather than professionals). ...


On 25 August 1822, Herschel died at Observatory House, Slough, and is buried at nearby St Laurence's Church, Upton. is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


His son John Herschel also became a famous astronomer. One of William's brothers, Alexander, moved permanently to England, near Caroline and William. John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel (7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English mathematician and astronomer. ...


His house in Bath, where he made many telescopes and first observed Uranus, is now home to the William Herschel Museum. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The William Herschel Museum is a museum dedicated to the life and works of the famous astronomer, William Herschel. ...


Named after Herschel

Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Mu Cephei (μ Cep / μ Cephei), also known as Garnet Sidus is a star in the constellation Cepheus. ... For other craters in the solar system named Herschel, see Herschel (crater) Herschel is a lunar impact crater located just to the north of Ptolemaeus crater. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... For other craters in the solar system named Herschel, see Herschel (crater). ... Tycho crater on Earths moon. ... Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system, named after the Roman god of war (the counterpart of the Greek Ares), on account of its blood red color as viewed in the night sky. ... Herschel is a huge crater on the Saturnian moon Mimas. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 140 kPa Hydrogen >93% Helium >5% Methane 0. ... Mimas (mee-mÉ™s or mye-mÉ™s, IPA: , Greek Μίμᾱς, rarely Μίμανς) is a moon of Saturn that was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. ... 2000 Herschel is an asteroid discovered the 29th July, 1960 by Joachim Schubart. ... This article is about the telescope on the Canary Islands. ... Satellite image of La Palma, with the Caldera de Taburiente visible (north is to the lower right). ... The Herschel Space Observatory is a mission of the European Space Agency. ... A space observatory is any object in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. ... Herschel Grammar School is a selective co-educational grammar foundation school and Technology College in Slough, Berkshire. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... For the Australian university, see University of Newcastle, Australia. ... The William Herschel Museum is a museum dedicated to the life and works of the famous astronomer, William Herschel. ... Motto: Multis E Gentibus Vires (Latin: The Strength of Many Peoples) Capital Regina Largest city Saskatoon Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Barnhart - Premier Lorne Calvert (NDP) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 14 - Senate seats 6 Confederation September 1, 1905 (Split from NWT) (9th (province)) Area  Ranked... C. Hershel is a tiny lunar crater that lies on the western part of Mare Imbrium. ... 281 Lucretia is a typical Main belt asteroid. ... Caroline Lucretia Herschel Caroline Lucretia Herschel (March 16, 1750 – January 9, 1848) was a German-born English astronomer. ...

See also

The following is a list of Astronomical Instrument Makers, along with lifespan and country of work, if available. ...

Notes

  1. ^ His father, Abraham, was a member of the Hanover Jewish community. See H.Geduld, Jewish World Review, April 24, 1998. - also here. In addition see article in Jewish Encyclopaedia

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
William Herschel
Awards
Preceded by
Samuel Vince
Copley Medal
1781
Succeeded by
Richard Kirwan

  Results from FactBites:
 
William Herschel (554 words)
William [Wilhelm Friedrich] Herschel was born on 15 November 1738 in Hanover, in a family of musicians.
Herschel struck fame in 1781, when on March 13 he discovered the planet Uranus while engaged in work aimed at determining stellar parallax.
Hoskin, M.A. William Herschel and the construction of the heavens, Oldbourne, London.
Sir Frederick William Herschel - LoveToKnow 1911 (2456 words)
SIR FREDERICK WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822), generally known as Sir William Herschel, English astronomer, was born at Hanover on the 15th of November 1738.
Herschel's earlier education was necessarily of a very limited character, chiefly owing to the warlike commotions of his country; but being at all times an indomitable student, he, by his own exertions, more than repaired this deficiency.
Herschel married, on the 8th of May 1788, the widow of Mr John Pitt, a wealthy London merchant, by whom he had un only son, John Frederick William.
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