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Caroline Herschel

Caroline Lucretia Herschel was a German astronomer who lived between 1750-1848. Caroline originally came to England to receive a music education, but she worked in England most of her life alongside her brother, William Herschel, helping him make astronomical observations and then making her own. She discovered three new nebulae (hazy clouds from which stars form) in 1783. She also discovered eight comets between 1786-1797. In addition, she published two astronomical catalogues which are still used today.

In 1835, Caroline was the first women to be awarded an honorary membership into Britain's Royal Society. In 1838, she was elected to membership in the Royal Irish Academy. Caroline received the Gold Medel for Science from the King of Prussia in 1846.

In her spare time, Caroline assisted her brother, William Herschel, in his workshop grinding metal mirrors.

Caroline Herschel died on January 9, 1848, at age 98. She is buried in Germany.

Last modified November 16, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF