30/12/12

Our Solar System grows, 1813-22 - London

Our Solar System grows, 1813-22 - London

This orrery, or planetary model, shows six satellites around Uranus, the farthest planet then known. William Herschel discovered the innermost two, Titania and Oberon, in 1787. By 1798 he had reported four additional satellites. However, no other astronomer managed to see these and observations in the 1850s showed Herschel was mistaken.

We now know of almost 30 Uranian satellites. All are named after characters from Shakespeare or Pope, following a tradition started by Herschel’s son John.