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Caroline Herschel, 18th Century Astronomer

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 2 years, 1 month ago

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Caroline Herschel (1750 to 1848) from NASA StarChild


  • She was the first woman to discover a comet in 1786


  • She lived 98 years


  • She was the first woman to earn a living through science


  • Her Brother William discovered the planet Uranus in 1781

266th Birthday Google Doodle (March 16, 2016)



Video on Her Life

  • Brief background on the life of Caroline Herschel while relating it to a search engine we use every day.


Click here for a NOVA Short Video entitled "Founders of Modern Astronomy." This tells the story of William and Carolina Herschel and the influence they both had on the field of astronomy.  


Caroline Herschel Biography

  • Her major life accomplishments as well as the people in her life presented in an organized fashion. The text is highlighted to allow for readers to interact with the text and explore more in depth the impact that Caroline Hershcel had on astronomy.



Women in Science:  Caroline Herschel

  • This article separates her life accomplishments and important moments in her life into
    categories making it easiest for students to understand the timeline of her life and the
    importance of each accomplishment she achieved.



Caroline Herschel: Agency and Self-Presentation

  • A written resource that details the Herschel’s discoveries in greater detail. 
    • The text actually uses many quotes from Caroline herself to give the students a sense of her own personality and language


See the poem Planetarium by Adrienne Rich for a perspective on Herschel as a woman in science


Caroline Herschel Biography from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Emily Winterburn Discusses Caroline Herschel's account of a New Comet, YouTube

The Story of Caroline Herschel by Sevval Sengul, YouTube


  Shining Star of Astronomy Podcast



Herschel lunar crater as seen from Earth with satellite craters labeled (Photo:  February 1, 2012)

Planetarium: An Interactive Sky Map

  • On this website, students can interact with the sky to find constellations.


  • Rolling over certain pricks of light and the website names stars for you. 


      • Turn the sky and flick the constellations on and off in order to test knowledge and see if you can find constellations in a blank night sky


NGC 205, Discovered by Caroline Herschel
NGC 205, Discovered by Caroline Herschel


Learning Plan: Herschel's Infrared Experiment


  • This website has a detailed description of a lab experiment students could do just like Herschel did years ago to discover the existence of radiation beyond the spectrum of visible light. 
    • This experiment would be a hands on learning experience that would produce a rainbow image

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