The Discovery of Uranus

William Herschel discovered Uranus from Bath in 1781. He was looking for comets and used a telescope.

Uranus is at magnitude 5.9, meaning that it is barely visible to the naked eye even in good conditions.

Astronomers had observed it previously but mistaken it for a star. They did not compare its position between dates. Hershel did this and initially thought it was a comet. Further observations from him and others confirmed it as a planet.


Did you know?

Hershel wanted to call it "The Georgian Planet" in honour of his new patron, King George II

Drag & Drop
  • William Herschel
  • 1781
  • Telescope

Uranus Nine Planets