The Discovery Of The Uranus Essay examples

1593 Words Dec 9th, 2016 7 Pages
Uranus was discovered in 1781 by a British Astronomer named William Herschel, using a 6 inch telescope. At first he thought that it might be a nebulous star or even a comet, but after continued observation, he realized that it appeared to be a disk in the sky that moved relative to the stars. The movement was far too slow to be a comet and soon enough he realized that he had discovered the 7th planet at the time. At first, he wanted to name it Georgium Sidus which translates to “George’s star” after his king George the III. A fellow astronomer named Johann Bode helped Herschel crush the idea and instead the name “Uranus” (father of Saturn) was put in place to carry on the tradition of using names from ancient mythology.

The discovery of Uranus was the reason that the next planet, Neptune, was discovered. As astronomers kept track of the motion of Uranus, they noticed discrepancies in where they calculated/predicted Uranus to move and where Uranus actually appeared to be. It was as if something was slightly, but still noticeably, acting on Uranus in a gravitational manner. Mathematicians set out to calculate where and how massive this “thing” had to be. Independently, multiple mathematicians calculated the same relative answer and soon after, German astronomer Johann Galle discovered the object which came to be known as the planet Neptune.

Uranus is roughly four times the size of the Earth in terms of radii and its atmosphere is primarily composed of hydrogen…

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