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Herschel telescope. From the Renaissance to today

Herschel telescope. From the Renaissance to today


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William Herschel (1738-1822) was a British nationalized German astronomer who made numerous and important contributions in the field of astronomy.

Herschel's interest in astronomy did not manifest until he was 35 years old. With the help of his sister Caroline and his brother Alexander, he built an excellent reflection telescope, using a foundry that he installed in his house. Herschel polished metal mirrors, in a bronze-like alloy.

With that telescope, with a power of 6,450 magnification, on March 13, 1781, he discovered an object in the constellation of Gemini, which he initially took for a comet. But he quickly realized that it was not a star like the others, because his disk was clearly outlined. Nor was it a comet, because it had no tail. His movement suggested that it was a planet.

Herschel observed him for a year and discovered that his orbit was planetary. Indeed, it was a new planet (Uranus). The only planets known since ancient times were the six that could be seen with the naked eye. No one had planned another planet, and the surprise of the discovery made Herschel and the telescope famous.

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Album: Images from the history Gallery: From the Renaissance to today