William Herschel never expected to achieve immortality by discovering the distant planet Uranus. Rather, he was after a totally different astro-achievement: He wanted to be the guy who discovered creatures living on the Moon.
The telescopes that Herschel created have inspired most modern telescopes, but in 1781, he didn't use his revolutionary new piece of technology to gaze in wonder at the infinity of the stars. Instead, he claimed to have seen forests and towns on the Moon. This sounds laughable by today's standards, but in the 1700s, it was a legitimate excuse to start doing anything. You practically couldn't be a scientist in that era if you didn't write "I saw [aliens/ghosts/angels] in my [backyard/sky/morning bowl of porridge]" on your resume.
The New York Sun
Herschel thought that the big circular spots on the Moon were evidence of alien metropolises, and he wrote that he could also see roads and pastures. Finding Uranus was, to him, nothing but a cool little side note in his ongoing quest to populate outer space with fantastical beings and formations that he was 100 percent certain were there.
If you feel like doing some discovering of your own, there are some pretty legit telescopes out there anyone can use.
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