When Uranus Was Called George

Yes, from 1781 to 1851 the planet Uranus was really called George. It’s official title was Georgium Sidus, but no one said that. George was discovered by the amateur astronomer William Herschel. Way to go Herschel! King George III rewarded Herschel for his discovery by appointing him Court Astronomer and asking him to move close to the royal family. Herschel, grateful for such recognition, named the new planet Georgium Sidus in honor of his royal patron.

French astronomers did not like the new name, however, as their country had been fighting George III’s for centuries. They proposed calling it “Herschel.” Then in 1851, a bunch of planet namers got together. They noted that all the other planets were named after Greek and Romans gods. They further observed that George, as powerful as he was, was not, in fact, a mythological god. Nothing got past these guys. So they renamed the eighth planet, Uranus.

I rather like the idea of calling a planet, “George.” What would you call Uranus?


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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2 thoughts on “When Uranus Was Called George

  1. italiadiva

    I like the name Kathryn myself. Of course, I have done nothing to deserve having a planet named after me, but a person can dream. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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