Caroline Herschel, English astronomer, 1847.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving showing the astronomer Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) in 1841 at the age of 92. Caroline was the younger sister of the famous astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738-1822). She was a devoted observing asistant to William during his life, but was also an accomplished observer in her own right. Her first accomplishment was the discovery of three new nebulae in 1783, one of them being the companion of the Andromeda nebula. Between 1786 and 1797 Caroline discovered no les than eight new comets. She was awarded a gold medal by the Prusian Academy of Science on her 96th birthday. She was also jointly the first woman to be made a member of the Royal Astronomical Society.