Sunday, February 10, 2008

Caroline Herschel

(1750 - 1848)
German Astronomer

Caroline was the sister of Friedrich Herschel, who lived in England. He was a musician whose hobby was astronomy - his hobby developed so well that he asked Caroline to leave Germany (1772) and help him in England.

Together, Friedrich and Caroline built their own telescope, including the immensely precise grinding and polishing of the lenses. They began to study the universe - she took down data and performed the innumerable calculations connected with them.

Friedrich read his first papers to the Royal Society (1780) - he discovered a new planet - Uranus (1781) and became Court Astronomer (1782). All of these activities involved Caroline.

Meanwhile, Caroline herself carried out her own investigations and independently made discoveries of nebulae and no less than eight comets (1780 - 1797). She was also in a position to inform the Royal Society of 560 missing stars from the "British Catalogue" (1797).

After the death of her brother Friedrich (1822), Caroline compiled a new Catalogue of the 2500 stars discovered by him.

More on Caroline Herschel

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Caroline's famous astronomer brother was Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of the planet Uranus