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Caroline Herschel
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    (March 11, 1750-January 9, 1848)
    Born in Hanover, Germany
    Sister and assistant of William Herschel
    Discovered eight comets
    Co-discoverer (with Charles Messier) of M110, one of the satellite galaxies of the Andromeda Galaxy
    Reorganized the star catalogue of Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed, including cross-indexing his observations, correcting various errors, and adding 560 stars that had since been discovered (1798)
    She was a promising singer, but refused to perform unless her brother was the conductor, limiting her career.
    When William moved from music to astronomy, she acquiesced, but later commented, ‘I did nothing for my brother but what a well-trained puppy dog would have done. That is to say, I did what he commanded,’
    She and William opened a dress shop that failed. (She was guarding the leftover inventory on the night that he discovered Uranus.)
    She was often credited as the first woman to discover a comet. However, Maria Kirch had discovered one in 1702, but her achievement was often overlooked since the discovery was initially attributed to her husband.
    At ten, she contracted typhus, which stunted her growth and caused her to lose the vision in her left eye.
    King George III granted her an annual salary of £50 for her work as William’s assistant (1787), making her the first woman in England with an official government position and the first woman to receive a salary for scientific work.
    She received the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1828); no other woman would win it until Vera Rubin in 1996.
    A crater on the moon was named after her.

Credit: C. Fishel

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