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Discovery of Planets

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What was the role of the telescope in the discovery of planets?

Discovery of Planets

Once Sir Isaac Newton created the reflector telescope, the next step was the construction of a large-scale version. William Herschel was a German born astronomer who undertook the building of a 20-foot model of the reflector telescope. Herschel's telescope marked a new discovery of planets in the solar system. In 1781, he discovered the planet Uranus. The discovery of Uranus led to the discovery of Neptune, verified through the use of mathematical calculations for the first time in history. The discovery of planets in the solar system continued to 1930, when 24-year-old astronomer Clyde Tombaugh found Pluto.



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