Herschel, William

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Herschell, William Gender: M
Herschel, Friedrich Wilhelm
born on 15 November 1738
Place Hanover, Germany, 52n24, 9e44
Timezone LMT m9e44 (is local mean time)
Data source
Date w/o time
Rodden Rating X
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 22°57' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif


German musician and astronomer. Raised in Germany, he emigrated to Britain in 1757 where he was joined by his sister Caroline in 1772. He worked as an organist at Octagon Chapel in Bath from 1766 with an annual salary of 400 lbs.

William's astronomical work began in earnest in 1772. A musician with no formal scientific training, he built a 1.8-m reflecting telescope in 1774 and in 1781, he discovered Uranus. He attempted to name the body after George III who rewarded him with royal patronage. With a pension from the king, he was able to quit his job of conducting and devote his time to astronomy. William produced and sold huge quantities of fine telescopes.

At this time, Caroline did not share her brother's passion for science. William trained her in mathematics, yet she was still a house maid, not yet his apprentice. In his continued studies, Herschel discovered the nature of nebulae and did pioneering work on the structure of the Universe.

William married and had a son, John, who became a prominent English scientist.

He died on 8/25/1822 in Slough, England.



  • Family : Change residence 1957 (Moved to Great Britain)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1772 (Younger sister, Caroline came to live with him)
  • Work : New Job 1766 (Organist at the Octagon Chapel)
  • Social : Begin a program of study 1772 (Began astronomical work)
  • Work : Gain social status 1781 (Discovered Uranus)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 25 August 1822 at 12:00 noon in Slough, England (Age 83)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

LMR quotes Encyclopedia Britannica for date; time unknown


  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Pro organist)
  • Vocation : Science : Astronomy (Pro)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Discovered the planet Uranus)