Germany's Space Star!

William Herschel; By Georgia Barnes


Frederick William Herschel was born on 15th November 1738 in Hanover, Germany. On 19th March 1750 his little sister, Caroline Lucretia Herschel was born. In 1755, the family moved to England.


He was obsessed with astronomy and often rented a telescope. Soon he decided to build his own telescope. It had a diameter of 4 feet (1.2 meters), which made it the largest telescope in the world until 1845. In 1783, Caroline asked William to teach her to use a telescope and soon the siblings were making charts together.

William was also a musician and became known for twenty-four symphonies.


In 1781, William discovered the well-known planet Uranus and two of its satellites. He was the founder of stellar astronomy, the study of the region beyond the solar system. He also found more than 800 double stars. Double or "Binary" stars are a pair of stars that orbit around each other, like the earth orbiting around the sun.

William was the person who concluded that the Milky Way was in the shape of a disk. In 1789, he found Mimas the 7th largest moon of Saturn, and Enceladus the 6th largest moon of Saturn. He also found Oberon and Titania, the 2nd and 8th largest moons of Uranus. William also found two satellites of Saturn.

In 1800, William pioneered in the studies of the sun's motion, the relative brightness of stars and Infrared Radiation. Infrared Rays, or Thermal Energy, are rays that sense heat.


Police have special cameras that use Infrared Radiation. Everyone gives off heat that these cameras can detect. Police use these cameras to find lost people and criminals even if they're hiding in the dark.

Remote controls for television sets also use infrared radiation. This is important because if we didn't have remote controls, we'd have to keep on getting up to change the channels on the T.V which is really annoying and troubling for those who are sick or have a disability.

William has really contributed to our everyday lives.


In 1782, William Herschel was honored as a Royal astronomer, and in 1820 when The Royal Astronomy Society was created Sir William Herschel became elected the first president. Sir William's wife was Mary Pitt, and on 7th March 1792 they had a son, Sir John Frederick William Herschel who became an astronomer too.

People who Contributed to William's Success

* Caroline Herschel; Who made charts with him.

* Galileo Galilei; For inventing the telescope so William could create his own. 


  • World Book Student. Retrieved from World Book Student
  • Nasa; William Herschel. Retrieved from