When Uranus was first found, it was not Uranus at all! In 1781, English astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet while scanning the night sky with his telescope. He quickly named it the Georgium Sidus (the Georgian planet, or ‘George’ for short) in honor of his king and the man paying his bills, King George III. It was not until much later that the planet was renamed Uranus, and schoolchildren everywhere cheered with delight. While people love to make jokes about the name, ‘Uranus’ is actually named after Oranus, the greek god of the sky.