The Best Fudge Comes From Georgium Sidus

The Best Fudge Comes From Georgium Sidus

Posted by Laura Abernathy Huffman on Aug 15th 2023

It’s no secret that Mayor Louie Keen named his insanely popular tourist attraction after the seventh planet from the sun.

By Laura Abernathy Huffman

What many may not know though is that Uranus Fudge Factory could have been named Georgium Sidus Fudge Factory. However, “The Best Fudge Comes from Georgium Sidus” doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as “The Best Fudge Comes From Uranus” does.

So what the heck happened? Let’s turn the clock back. All the way back to 18th century England, and let Uranus teach you a thing or two.

John Frederick William Herschel, a talented organist, had followed in his father’s musical footsteps. In 1752, when young William was the tender age of 14, his father placed him in the hands of the Hanoverian Foot Guards to be a soldier. However, soldiering didn’t suit Herschel. He quit the regiment and made his way to London in 1757. He landed a gig leading the Earl of Darlington’s military band before being named the organist at Halifax.

While Herschel was at Halifax he began studying mathematics. It wasn’t long before Herschel had his head in the clouds. Or at least had his eyes, and attention, turned skyward. Modern astronomy hooked Herschel. Unable to afford a telescope he decided to build one himself. In 1774 Herschel saw Saturn through a five-foot reflecting telescope that he had built with his own hands.

Before discovering the planet we now know as Uranus, William Herschel was known for playing with his organ.

Herschel decided to build even bigger and better telescopes. He made a seven-foot telescope. He built a ten-foot reflector telescope. Then he made a twenty-foot telescope. Herschel knew that in order to appreciate all that the universe had to gaze upon, that size mattered.

Herschel began spending even less time with his organ and at the end 1779 he began to review the heavens, painstakingly cataloging the sky star by star. He had been doing this for 18 months or so when he was unexpectedly rewarded by discovering a new planet on March 13, 1781.

His discovery was momentous! Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can all be seen with the naked eye. Herschel’s new planet was the first to be discovered using a telescope. Herschel chose the name Georgium Sidus for the new planet - “George’s Star”. The new planet’s name pleased the British KIng, George III.

However, the moniker Georgium Sidus was not embraced outside of England. King George III was loved by Herschel and his fellow Englishmen. However, astronomers outside of England were not fans of the King, or his brand-spanking-new planet. Those same astronomers also were upset that Herchel had not continued the tradition of naming the planets after Roman gods and goddesses. They began a campaign to rename Georgium Sidus.

German astronomer, Johann Bode, loves Uranus!

Just a year after Georgium Sidus was discovered by Herschel, in March 1782, German astronomer Johann Bode authored a paper suggesting that the new planet be named for the Greek god Uranus. His proposed name caught on. Before William Herschel’s death in 1822 Georgium Sidus had already become known far and wide as Uranus.
And with that, Uranus found its rightful place in the hearts and minds of people around the world! Let’s all take a moment to recognize Johann Bode for giving Uranus the respect it deserves!