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Sir Frederick William Herschel 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.

He played the cello besides the oboe and, later, the organ. During a concert in 1767, Herschel showed off his versatility by performing an oboe concerto, violin concerto and harpsichord sonata. He composed numerous musical works, including 24 symphonies and many concertos, as well as some church music. Apart from a few oboe concertos, his music is largely forgotten today.

Herschel's music led him to an interest in mathematics, and thence to astronomy. This interest grew stronger after 1773, and he built some telescopes and made the acquaintance of Nevil Maskelyne. In the spring of 1781, William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, using a homemade telescope in the back garden of his house in New King Street, in Bath. He called the new planet the 'Georgian star' after King George III, which also brought him favour; the name didn't stick, however: in France, where reference to the British king was to be avoided if possible, the planet was known as 'Herschel' until the name 'Uranus' was universally adopted. The same year, Herschel was awarded the Copley Medal and 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.

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Sir Frederick William Herschel 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.

He played the cello besides the oboe and, later, the organ. During a concert in 1767, Herschel showed off his versatility by performing an oboe concerto, violin concerto and harpsichord sonata. He composed numerous musical works, including 24 symphonies and many concertos, as well as some church music. Apart from a few oboe concertos, his music is largely forgotten today.

Herschel's music led him to an interest in mathematics, and thence to astronomy. This interest grew stronger after 1773, and he built some telescopes and made the acquaintance of Nevil Maskelyne. In the spring of 1781, William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, using a homemade telescope in the back garden of his house in New King Street, in Bath. He called the new planet the 'Georgian star' after King George III, which also brought him favour; the name didn't stick, however: in France, where reference to the British king was to be avoided if possible, the planet was known as 'Herschel' until the name 'Uranus' was universally adopted. The same year, Herschel was awarded the Copley Medal and 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. More...

 
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