What links the American War of Independence with the planet Uranus?
King George III was the British monarch against whom the American colonists rebelled.
The king was very interested in astronomy - he even had an observatory built so he could observe the 1769 Transit of Venus.
William Herschel was the first person ever to discover a new planet. This occurred in Bath, England in 1781. Herschel called the planet Georgium Sidus
(George's star) and King George made him the King's Astronomer and supported his work.
There were people in England that called it Georgium Sidus
- or often the Georgian planet
- but you won't be surprised to know that the name didn't catch on elsewhere! It eventually became Uranus
, the sky god who was the father of Cronus (Saturn).William Herschel
A professional musician named William Herschel was the first person in history to discover a planet. Later, as a professional astronomer, Herschel studied the stars and deep space objects to try to understand “the construction of the heavens.” He was one of the fathers of modern astronomy.