“I have looked further into space than any human being did before me”
William Herschel (1738 –1822), Caroline Herschel (1750–1848), and John Herschel (1792 –1871)
Seven members of the Pembrokeshire U3A Astronomy Group visited the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath on Wednesday 18th October 2017. It is dedicated to the many achievements of the Herschels, who were distinguished astronomers as well as talented musicians. It was from this house, using a telescope of his own design that William discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. His observations helped to double the known size of the solar system. Following a tradition of the great astronomers of the Renaissance he pushed forward the science of building telescopes. He was rewarded for his work by King George III, and also received the Copley Medal. Caroline also made a huge contribution to the field of astronomy. The work of the Herschels clearly had an impact on modern science and space exploration. The late Sir Patrick Moore was a patron of the museum and described William Herschel as “the first man to give a reasonably correct picture of the shape of our star-system or galaxy, the best telescope-maker of his time, and possibly the greatest observer who ever lived”.
Afterwards, we had time for a pleasant lunch in a restaurant in the shadow of Bath Abbey, some of us then wandering down to the famous Pulteney Bridge and the river while others explored the area around the Royal Crescent.
Geoff Winterman October 2017
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