Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00–17.00
Admission: 
Free
Location: 
Royal Observatory

Do you know which planet the owner of this eyepiece discovered?

This eyepiece was probably made for a finder telescope belonging to the dicoverer of Uranus, William Herschel.

It has a focal length of 38mm. It has a brass mount with no thread and is fitted with cross-wires.

William Herschel's eyepieces, made for him by his younger brother Alexander are outstanding because of their magnifying power which was exceptionally high for the time. In his 'Account of a Comet', read to the Royal Society in April 1781 (the comet in question was later confirmed to be Uranus) he referred to having:

'ready at hand the several magnifiers of 227, 932, 1536, 2010, &c'.

At the time a power of 270 was considered excellent, and his audiences disbelief at his claims of magnification was a serious hurdle in getting his discovery recognised.