William Herschel

Picture of William Herschel

Date of Birth: 11/15/1738

Age: 83

Place of birth: Hannover

Citizenship: United Kingdom


Herschel, William (Friedrich Wilhelm) (11.15.1738, Hanover - 08/25/1822, Slough, near London), English astronomer and optician, a member of the Royal Society of London (since 1781), honorary member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1789).

The son of a regimental musician, Herschel was educated at home (music, languages). In 1757 he moved to England, where he became known as a musician, composer and music teacher.

Astronomy has studied independently. It produces hundreds of mirrors for telescopes. In 1786-89 he built his biggest 40-foot (12 m) reflector with a mirror diameter of 122 cm, for the first time effectively applying it in a single-dish circuit. sky observations began in 1773. discovered the planet Uranus (03/13/1781), two satellites of Uranus (1787) and their reverse movement (1797), two of Saturn (1789), measured the period of rotation of Saturn and its rings (1790) and others.

I detect motion of the solar system in space. Since the mid 70-ies. He began a series of reviews of the starry sky its "method cherpkov" (calculations stars in selected areas). As a result, for the first time, Herschel mapped the general shape of the Galaxy, considering its size and concluded its isolation in space as one of the star "islands" in the universe.

Compact stellar condensation Herschel interpreted as real cluster stars. This work laid the foundation for Herschel stellar statistics. He discovered the existence of the physical binary stars (1803) and made three catalog of binary stars.

One of the greatest merits of Herschel - the opening of more than 2,500 new nebulae and star clusters (1786,1789,1802). He said 182 double and multiple Nebula, surmised the physical connection of components. First discovered (1784) the distribution pattern of nebulae - their tendency to accumulate in layers; they highlighted "seam in Coma" is a significant part of the equatorial zone Supergalaxy de Vaucouleurs (opened in 1953). Herschel has proved (1791) the existence of "real" nebulae - from tenuous self-luminous matter and put forward the nebular star-cosmogonic hypothesis of condensation of stars and clusters of diffuse matter, develop it (1802, 1811) in the concept of the evolution of cosmic matter.

Herschel one of the first to study the solar and stellar spectra, opened in 1800, the infrared rays in the solar spectrum.