1738 – Herschel – bio

Frederick William Herschel was born in 1738 in Hanover, Germany and was an astronomer and musician. He built over four hundred telescopes, including one that had a 40 foot focal length and 50 inch mirror. He observed and catalogued over 2400 astronomical objects. He discovered Uranus, two of it’s moons and two moons of Saturn. Herschel was the first to measure the direction of movement of the Solar System and created the term, “asteroid”. He discovered infrared radiation, using a prism to split visible light and measuring a temperature increase just off the red edge of the light spectrum. He called the phenomenon “calorific rays” because it conveyed heat.

Herschel played several musical instruments and composed 24 symphonies and several concertos.

PRECURSOR:
1564 – Galileo
1571 – Kepler
1608 – telescope
1625 – Cassini
1629 – Huygens
1642 – Newton

CONCURRENT:
1730 – Messier
1736 – Lagrange

SUBSEQUENT:
1824 – Kirchhoff

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