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Caroline

  • Date Submitted: 10/12/2013 05:41 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.5 
  • Words: 334
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Caroline Herschel was born in Hannover, Germany. Caroline was well gifted, Caroline did musical talent, and she knew mathematics very well. Caroline was the first women to discover a comet. In 1782 Caroline gave up her singing career and became her brother, Williams’s assistant. To look further into astronomy. William and Caroline worked together as a team; he would sweep the sky at night while Caroline would record his observations. Williams finally saw something in Caroline’s observations that he wanted to finalize the observation during the day. William had managed to find a few objects using a small Newtonian sweeper with a focal length of 27-inches. Caroline would take over when William had felt town for business with her spending more time at the telescope. Prior to the completion of the 18.7-inch reflector, she would use the small Newtonian sweeper to look for objects on her own. She found her first object on February 26, 1783; which turned out to be an open cluster that is known today as NGC 2360. Her second object was found on August 27, 1783 and is a galaxy with a modern designation of NGC 205. Caroline found her third object on September 23, 1783, it is a galaxy which is known today as NGC 253. Caroline's biggest break came in Slough, when on August, 1786; she found a comet moving slowly through Leo. William was in Germany. Caroline suspected this was a comet and observed it again on August 2. She confirmed it had moved. She wrote letters to astronomers telling her discovery and it was soon observed by astronomers throughout Europe. In 1787 King George III gave Caroline a 50 per year salary to continue as William's assistant and she became the first woman officially recognized for a scientific position. William died in 1822, therefore Caroline returned to Hannover and completed William's catalogue of 2500 nebulae. Shortly after it’s, she received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society on February 8, 1828.

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