Friday 1 August 2014

Astronomy Scrapbook Friday 1st August 2014

August 1st 1786 Caroline Herschel discovers her first comet.

Caroline Herschel (1750- 1848) the sister of the astronomer William Herschel who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. She is often portrayed as William Herschel s assistant but she was a great astronomer in her own right.

On the night of August 1st 1786 at 9.50 p m she discovered her first comet while observing from Slough in England. Between 1786 and 1797 she would discover 8 comets a number not passed by a woman astronomer until  Carolyn Shoemaker passed this number in the 1980s. Shoemaker has discovered over 30 comets.

Carolyn Herschel made many other astronomical discoveries including a companion galaxy to the Andromeda Galaxy.

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