Uranus's History & Naming

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
August 13, 2013 3:40am CST
Uranus, named after the Greek sky deity Ouranos, the earliest of the lords of the heavens, was the first planet to be discovered by scientists. Although Uranus is visible to the naked eye, just like the classical planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — it was long mistaken as a star because of the planet’s dimness and slow orbit. British astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus accidentally on March 13, 1781, with his telescope while surveying all stars down to those about 10 times dimmer than can be seen by the naked eye. One "star" seemed different, and within a year Uranus was shown to follow a planetary orbit.
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