William Herschel, born in Hannover November 15, 1738, is considered the founder of modern stellar astronomy. He was interested in the topic early, but made his living as a musician until he was 43, when he became a professional astronomer.

In 1781 he discovered Uranus with the first reflecting telescope, which he built himself. Impressed by his discovery, George III arranged for him to spend all his time studying the stars, and in 1816 he was knighted. His studies also demonstrated that it is gravity that is governing the movement and arrangement of binary stars.

Herschel died in Slough, England, on August 25, 1822.

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