William Herschel and The Planetary Nebulae

  title={William Herschel and The Planetary Nebulae},
  author={Michael A. Hoskin},
  journal={Journal for the History of Astronomy},
  pages={209 - 225}
  • M. Hoskin
  • Published 15 April 2014
  • Physics
  • Journal for the History of Astronomy
At the close of the paper I give the location of half-a-dozen planetary nebulae, as I call them. These are celestial bodies of which as yet we have no clear idea and which are perhaps of a type quite different from those that we are familiar with in the heavens. I have already found four that have a visible diameter of between 15 and 30 seconds. These bodies appear to have a disk that is rather like a planet, that is to say, of equal brightness all over, round or somewhat oval, and about as… 
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En 2014 se celebro un doble aniversario en el campo de las nebulosas planetarias, 250 anos desde su descubrimiento y 150 anos desde su correcta identificacion espectroscopica. En este articulo
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XIV. Astronomical observations relating to the sidereal part of the heavens, and its connection with the nebulous part; arranged for the purpose of a critical examination
  • W. Herschel
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1814
In my paper of observations of the nebulous part of the heavens, I have endeavoured to shew the probability of a very gradual conversion of the nebulous matter into the sidereal appearance The
XVI. Astronomical observations relating to the construction of the heavens, arranged for the purpose of a critical examination, the result of which appears to throw some new light upon the organization of the celestial bodies
  • W. Herschel
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1811
Aknowledge of the construction of the heavens has always been the ultimate object of my observations, and having been many years engaged in applying my forty, twenty, and large ten feet telescopes,
Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters: From Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue
Preface 1. Introduction 2. William Herschel's observations and parallel activities 3. John Herschel's Slough observations 4. Discoveries made in parallel with John Herschel's Slough 5. John Herschel
IV. On nebulous stars, properly so called
  • W. Herschel
  • Physics
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
In one of my late examinations of a space in the heavens, which I had not reviewed before, I discovered a star of about the 8th magnitude, surrounded with a faintly luminous atmosphere, of a
For a list of Herschel's 'nebulous stars', see Table 2.17 of Wolfgang Steinicke, Observing and cataloguing nebulae and star clusters: From Herschel to Dreyer's New General Catalogue (Cambridge, 2010)
    The sun, viewed in this light, appears to be nothing else than a very eminent, large, and lucid planet
      On the construction of the heavens”, Philosophical transactions, lxxv (1785), 213–66, discussed in Michael Hoskin, The construction of the heavens
      • William Herschel’s cosmology (Cambridge,
      • 2012
      2/3.2, sweep 275
        original typescript of The Herschel chronicle (The Herschel Museum, Bath)
          2/2.5, f. 53r