Caroline Herschel's first comet, 1786

Caroline Herschel's first comet, 1786

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caroline Herschel's first comet. Notes and drawings recording the discovery of a comet on 1 August 1786 by Caroline Herschel (1750-1848). Herschel noted that the object was "like a star out of focus" and later correctly identified it as a comet. The comet and tail are shown in the centre of the three diagrams at left. Herschel then notes the location of the comet relative to stars in the constellations of Ursa Major and Coma Berenices. At lower right, the following night, Herschel continued to observe and draw the position and appearance of the comet. This comet, now known as Comet C/1786 P1 (Herschel), was the first of eight comets discovered by Caroline while working at Slough with her brother William.

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Keywords: 1700s, 1786, 18th century, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, august, black and white, caroline herschel, comet, comet c/1786 p1, comet herschel, diagram, first, herschel's, herschel's comet, historical, history, history of science, illustration, monochrome, notes, orbit, research, solar system, writing

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