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  • Martyn Rhys Vaughan

THE FIRST TRIP TO URANUS

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

We are getting nearer to modern times but we must not overlook such people as M. Vivenair who in 1784 published "A Journey Lately Performed Through The Air In An Aerostatic Globe, Commonly Called an Air Balloon, From The Terraqueous Globe To The Newly Discovered Planet, Georgium Sidus."

Modern readers may wonder where this planet is but when William Herschel discovered Uranus on March 13th 1781 he wanted to call it "Georgium Sidus" or "George's Star" in honour of King George III. He was eventually persuaded to continue the tradition of using Greek and Roman deities and named it after the father of Saturn and thus the grandfather of Jupiter.

A strong believer in extraterrestrial life, Hershel was the first to conclude that the Milky Way was a disc-shaped collection of stars, although he erred in placing Sol near the centre.

Thus Vivenair has the honour of writing the first story about a trip to Uranus.

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