Did you know that the first woman astronomer to discover a comet started out her career as a singer? Caroline Lucretia Herschel was quite successful as a singer, in fact, and received invitations to sing with orchestras in a number of cities.

She was born in Germany, on March 16, 1750. She moved to Bath, England to train as a singer at the invitation of her brother, William Herschel. He was also a musician and a composer. By the time Caroline arrived in Bath, her brother was working more in astronomy than in music. Her activities followed his and she began to assist him. Eventually, she came to love astronomy herself.

On August 1, 1786, she discovered a comet. She would go on to discover seven more. Near the end of her life, for her many contributions to astronomy, she was awarded an honorary membership in the Royal Astronomical Society. At the time, women were not allowed to be regular members.

Previous "Did You Know" sections are

Annie Jump Cannon has a song written about her

The Women Inventor of the Dishwasher

Margaret Mead is depicted on a U.S. Postal Stamp

Naming the Craters on Venus

Maria Merian on the U. S. Postage Stamp

Hedy Lamarr's Invention

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