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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16th

Born this day in 1750, Caroline Herschel, astronomer credited with discovery of 7 comets and other Light in the night sky. Herschel's story to the stars is extraordinary ,one the time in history that she lived and two because of her physical appearance. At the age of ten, Caroline contracted typhus which stunned her growth- she never grew taller than 4' 3" and so her father assumed she would never marry and her mother trained her to be a servant which began with her own family home. Like a Cinderella story.  All six of the children were taught music and math and french, but not Caroline she was a servant. Her father did in secret train his daughter in music and she had a beautiful voice. Her father died and Caroline was a servant...until her brother William who was hired as a music director in Bath, England asked if Caroline would like to move with him to be his housekeeper.
In this life, William continued her voice lessons and Caroline was a favorite soprano in Bath. William's hobby astronomy grew, he created his own telescopes that could observe further into space, and Caroline was his assistant. She learned everything. This science changed their lives. William was recognized as a learned astronomer, hired as King George's astronomer he was able to quit his music job. Caroline his assistant. By the age of 32, Caroline was as able as her brother. And when her brother was away on business, she stood in his place. Caroline was the first woman, to receive a pension as a scientist from King George III.   No longer a servant.
Herschel's discoveries earned her a honored place in the history of astronomy.
observing the sky with a 27-inch (690 mm) focal length Newtonian telescope and by this means detected a number of astronomical objects during the years 1783 - 87, including most notably an independent discovery of M110 (NGC 205), the second companion of the Andromeda Galaxy. During 1786 - 97 she also discovered eight comets, her first comet being discovered on 1 August 1786. She had unquestioned priority on five of the comets[7] and had rediscovered Comet Encke in 1795.

Herschel lived to the age of 98; and though Caroline was only 4'3", she stands as a giant in the history of science of space.  And Caroline's Prince Charming was the science of the heavenly bodies of the sky.

Born this day in 1799, Anna Atkins, photographer and botanist. Atkins published(in two sections) the first book that used photographs titled Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions Part one 1843 and part two in 1853. It included 424 pictures. Making Atkins the first woman and or man to use this idea in a book form. It must be noted the inventor of the Cyanotype, Sir John Herschel, Caroline Hershcel's nephew!

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