Uranus is visible to the naked eye.
It may have been observed by Hipparchus in 128BC but it was definitely observed on at least six occasions by John Flamsteed in 1690.
It was also observed at least 12 times between 1759 and 1760 by French astronomer Pierre Charles le Monier.
Due to its dimness and slow orbit Uranus wasn’t recognized as a planet.
Ancient observers thought it was a star.
Sir William Herschel observed Uranus on March 13, 1781 and initially reported it as a comet.
At the start no one knew if Uranus was a Nebulous Star or comet.
But astronomers around the globe soon began to suspect otherwise.
Finnish-Swedish astronomer Anders Johan Lexell was the first to compute the orbit of the new object.
It was soon accepted as a new planet.
By 1783, Herschel acknowledged this to Royal Society president Joseph Banks: ‘By the observation of the most eminent Astronomers in Europe it appears that the new star, which I had the honour of pointing out to them in March 1781, is a Primary Planet of our Solar System’.
Uranus was the first planet discovered that was not known in ancient times.
It was the first planet discovered with a telescope.
Herschel decided to name the object Georgium Sidus (George’s Star), or the ‘Georgian Planet’ in honour of King George III, but his proposal was not well received.
It was not popular outside Britain, and alternatives were soon proposed.
Astronomer Jérôme Lalande proposed that it be named Herschel.
Swedish astronomer Erik Prosperin proposed Neptune.
In March 1782 the name ‘Uranus’ – the Latinized version of the Greek god of the sky, Ouranos – was first proposed by German astronomer Johann Elert Bode.
He argued that as Saturn was the father of Jupiter, the new planet should be named for the father of Saturn.
This maintained conformity with the other planetary names which are from classical mythology.
In 1850 the name ‘Uranus’ became universal when HM Nautical Almanac Office switched from using Georgium Sidus to Uranus.
Uranus and astrology
The discovery of Uranus on March 13, 1781 was a big astrological event.
It ushered in the Uranus period of the Mars section of the Age of Pisces.
Mars is the planet of machines and manufacturing and the Mars section of the Age of Pisces (1478-1881) saw humanity’s energies diverted into what is historically known as the industrial revolution.
Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production.
Uranus saw invention and technology play a lead role in the machinery and manufacturing revolution.
Its discovery gave a boost to the energy that was driving the Age of Revolution (1774-1849).
This Age is noted for the change in government from absolutist monarchies to constitutional states and republics (Uranus).
The revolutions include the American Revolution (1775-1783), the French Revolution (1789-1799), the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), the United Irishman’s Rebellion (1798), the Serbian Revolution (1804-1835), the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832) and the Sicilian revolution of 1848.
There were revolutionary waves in Europe in 1820 and 1830.
New discoveries – like Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930 – don’t invalidate astrology.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have been influencing life of Earth since its beginning.
But their discovery does give impetus to their influence.
Astrology is a self-contained, continually evolving, system of knowledge and there’s no reason to presume – at any point in time – that astrologers have learned all there is to know about the science of the soul and stars.
Astrology for Aquarius – sharing our knowledge