Analysis of the 7th Planet, Uranus

The area I chose to study more about is Astronomy and particularly I chose to study about the Discovery of Uranus.

Uranus was identified for the first time on March 13, 1781 by William Herschel. How it all started? Herschel was interested in observing the stars and built his own telescope. He was observing the night sky to look for double stars or stars that are in such near distance to each other visually that they seem to be one. As he was observing he saw instead of a point of light a faint disk.

At first he thought that he had discovered a comet and shared his fining with the Royal Society. He was quite perplexed though since the “comets” diameter kept getting bigger and bigger as he kept getting the power higher on his telescope while the diameters of the stars he correlated it with did not change. Also as he magnified into the comet he noticed that the light was not bright like that of the other stars but appeared hazy and dim.

He shared these finding with another astronomer, Nevil Maskelyne who appeared to be just as confused as he was. Maskelyne told him that it was as likely for the “comet” to be a planet as it was for it to be a comet moving in very eccentric ellipses.

Many other astronomers started observing this “comet” and gave very useful feedback. Anders Johan Lexell was the one who initially computed the orbit of the strange object and the circular orbit made him think that it was a planet. Another scientist named Johan Elert Bode said that Herschel’s discovery was a planet-like body moving further ahead of Saturn.

In 1783 the object was accepted as a Primary planet. After reading all this I feel like it was all made possible thanks to peer-reviewing. Yes, Herschel was the first one to observe the planet but it was thanks to the ideas and observations from other scientists that they figured out that Uranus was a planet.

The significance of this discovery was great because thanks to it we found out that there is one more planet that we know of in our solar system and it opened the way for other scientists to want to explore and look for more planets and more galaxies out there. It helped us realize that the Universe is much bigger than we think. Also this discovery has taught us more about our own planet.

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