Print from original 1794 plate of Herschel's reflecting telescope, 1976.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving printed by Studio Prints of London from the original copper plate dated 1 February 1794 and published by Science History Publications Ltd. Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), the German-born British astronomer, constructed his own telescope after taking up astronomy as a hobby. As well as discovering the planet Uranus in 1781 and two of its satellites, Herschel performed a major study of Saturn, during which he discovered two satellites, the rotation of the planetary rings and the period of the planet's rotation. He also catalogued and investigated the motions of binary stars, the results of which are still in use.