Did you know that John Herschel was born today in 1792? He was an English mathematician, chemist, inventor, botanist, and astronomer. John Herschel studied color blindness; cataloged and produced illustrations of many plants around Cape Town, South Africa; found several ways to improve the photographic process; and wrote scientific articles for the Encyclopedia Britannica. In astronomy, John Herschel named seven of Saturn’s moons and four of Uranus’ moons. He also traveled to South Africa to catalog the stars in the Southern Hemisphere.
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John Herschel’s father was William Hershel, a famous astronomer who amongst other things discovered the planet Uranus. John Hershecl’s aunt was Caroline Herschel another famous astronomer who discovered several comets.
John Herschel developed rules for ‘inductive reasoning’ as a way to explain scientific and natural phenomena that could not be explained with mathematics and as a way to link scientific observations and theories. This idea influenced many other scientists such as Charles Darwin.
During his trip to South Africa, John Hershel saw the return of Comet Halley.