Show Notes: Caroline Herschel

Tracy Wilson

Caroline Herschel and her brother William at the telescope. Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

Caroline Herschel was born in 1750, and she became the first woman in Great Britain to be paid as a professional scientist. But her family had much humbler ideas for her when she was young: Because an illness had stunted her growth, they prepared her for a life as a scullery maid. In 1772, her favorite brother asked her to come and work for him. As his career shifted from music to astronomy, hers became more and more focused on cataloging stars, clusters, nebulae and other objects in space.

Our listener mail is in two parts. Jeremy corrects our pronunciation of Cairo, Illinois, from our S.S. Sultana episode. The other is from Heather about Frances Glessner Lee.

For more knowledge: How Comets Work

Episode link: Caroline Herschel, Astronomy's Cinderella

My research:

  • "Caroline Lucretia Herschel." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 16 June 2014.
  • Herschel, Mary Cornwallis and Caroline Lucretia Herschel. "Memoir and Correspondence of Caroline Herschel." John Murray. London. 1879. Accesed via Google Books:
  • Lemonick, Michael. "The Georgian Star: How William and Caroline Herschel Invented Modern Astronomy." The Royal Society, London. Feb. 27, 2009.
  • NASA. "Hubble's Neptune Anniversary Pictures." July 12, 2011.
  • Olson, Roberta J.M. and Jay M. Pasachoff. "The Comets of Caroline Herschel (1750-1848), Sleuth of the Skies at Slough. Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena, INSAP7, Bath, 2010 ( publication: Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 16, nos. 1 and 2, 2012.,-39,798
  • Redd, Nola Taylor. "Caroline Herschel Biography." Sept. 4, 2012.
  • Zielinski, Sarah. "Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know." Smithsonian. Sept. 19, 2011.

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