2022 William Hershel: 01 Southern Constellation of Apus – Bird of Paradise £2 BU

Original price was: £18.50.Current price is: £9.00.

  • New coin celebrates British Astronomer Sir William Frederick Herschel
  • Issued on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory
  • 2022 Bi-Metal £2 Coin
  • First coin in a new Southern Constellations five-coin £2 series
  • Issue Limit: 2,000
  • Available in a special colour presentation pack

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The release of a brand new £2 coin series to commemorate 200 years since the death of British Astronomer Sir William Herschel.

Sir William Frederick Herschel was a German-born British astronomer who emigrated from Germany to Great Britain at the age of 19. Herschel constructed the first large telescope in 1774, after which he spent nine years carrying out sky surveys to investigate double stars. While making observations, he made note of a new object which, after weeks of verification, was confirmed as a new planet which was given the name Uranus, after the Greek God of the sky.

The discovery brought him overnight fame and he was appointed Court Astronomer and knighted by King George III and grants were provided for the construction of new telescopes.

The design features the Apus Constellation which is represented by a Bird of Paradise, the image of which is depicted on the design. The constellation itself is shown beneath the bird and a compass as it would read in Antarctica. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.

Herschel’s 40-foot telescope, also known as the Great Forty-Foot telescope, was a reflecting telescope constructed between 1785 and 1789 at Observatory House in Slough, England. It was the largest telescope in the world for 50 years and he used it to discover Enceladus and Mimas, the 6th and 7th moons of Saturn. William Herschel’s legacy and popularity only increased over the years after the many discoveries he made about the solar system. In the British Antarctic Territory the UK Antarctic Place Name Committee named Herschel Heights after the famous astronomer, with Enceladus Nunataks and Mimas peak also being named after the two satellites of Saturn, discovered by Herschel. To mark the bicentenary of Herschel’s death we are releasing a series of five coins each showing a constellation from the “Bayer Family”. This family of constellations are circumpolar which means that they are always fully visible from the British Antarctic Territory.

Additional information

Weight 80 g





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