Friday’s Factoid 21(by Titus, Joel and Nathan)

Uranus was discovered in 1781 by Sir William Herschel and his sister. They were homeschooled and they built their own telescopes to find stuff with. Here is a picture of one of their homemade telescopes (Joel, 7 1/2).75D32B3E-FFC9-1F9E-C4D7F11E680FC3FA_3
Uranus looks blue because it is made of helium, hydrogen and methane and is very cold all the time. It has 11 rings and 21 moons and 2 shepherd moons hold the rings together (Titus, 9).
Uranus_Montage
The most neat thing about Uranus is that it is a topsy turvy planet. It does not spin right side up like all the other planets. It rolls around on it’s side and it’s rings are upways instead of sideways and it goes around the sun in the wrong direction too (Nate, almost 6)!
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Teacher’s Two-Cents (by Mom)
William Hershel’s son, John continued his father’s and aunt’s work and was convinced like they were that God was in control of the universe. He said, “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths come from on high and contained in the sacred writings.”

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7 comments on “Friday’s Factoid 21(by Titus, Joel and Nathan)

  1. It sounds like Uranus is an upside down world. And it is the only planet that is named after a Greek God instead of a Roman God of mythology. But leave it up to Sam (almost 4) to figure out that because of the strange way it spins, nights on some parts of Uranus can last for more than 40 years!

    • We were just reading about it’s funny days and nights! Also, Herschel didn’t want the new planet to be named after a pagan god at all but rather King George III but a a lot of people didn’t like that king so there was a movement to name the planet after Herschel himself which he didn’t approve of at all. So in the end the new planet got a pagan handle after all.

    • Oh yes. They were very much just your “typical” homeschool family. All professional musicians. They just played around with astronomy and building 40 foot telescopes as a hobby. Then they started discovering planets and stuff and started to get serious about it. And of course, just like all homeschoolers, the siblings grew up to be best friends and lived and worked all together while continuing to play music, solve complex mathematic problems, and change the face of astronomy. Doesn’t every homeschool co-op have a family just like that? ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. It is said of John that he strongly opposed evolution, referring to Darwin’s ideas as the “law of higgledy piggledy.”

    And I might add that Caroline became a noted astronomer in her own right โ€””the first important woman astronomer”. She discovered eight comets and three nebulae. We are told that in her lonely old age, Caroline derived much comfort from singing her favorite hymns.

    See, you’ve gotten me interested in reading their histories also! I’m learning much, boys, along with you.

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