William Herschel

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Sir Frederick William Herschel,[1] KH, FRS, German: Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel (15 November 1738 – 25 August 1822) was a German-born British astronomer, technical expert, and a composer. Born in Hanover, Wilhelm first followed his father into the Military Band of Hannover, but emigrated to Britain at age 19. Herschel became most famous for the discovery of the planet Uranus in addition to two of its major moons, Titania and Oberon. He also discovered two moons of Saturn and infrared radiation. Finally, Herschel is less known for the twenty-four symphonies that he composed.


Early life and musical activities

Herschel was born in Hanover, Electorate of Hanover one of ten children of Isaak and Anna Ilse, née Moritzen, Herschel. His father was of Jewish descent[2] and an oboist in the Hannover Military Band. In 1755 the Hannoverian Guards regiment, in whose band Wilhelm and his brother Jakob were engaged as oboists, was ordered to England. At the time the crowns of Great Britain and Hannover were united under George II. As the threat of war with France loomed, the Hannoverian Guard was recalled from England to defend Hannover. After the Hannoverian guard was defeated at the Battle of Hastenbeck, Herschel's father Isaak sent his two sons to seek refuge in England in late 1757. Although his older brother Jakob had received his dismissal from the Hannoverian Guard, Wilhelm was accused of desertion,[3] (for which he was later pardoned). Wilhelm, nineteen years old at this time, was a quick student of the English language. In England he went by the English rendition of his name, Frederick William Herschel.

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