The Herschel Legacy
Any amateur astronomer with even a cursory interest in the history of the science will hold William Herschel, his sister Caroline, and his son John, in very high esteem. Widely regarded as the father of modern astronomy, William Herschel, together with his gifted son, greatly advanced our knowledge of virtually all arenas of observational astronomy, inventing whole new fields of inquiry, using homemade instruments that were much superior to anything that had come before. And Caroline, through her devotion to her brother’s work, as well as carrying out her own specialized investigations, is immortalized as one of the earliest female pioneers of astronomical science. That said, like so many other heroes and heroines of this era, their origins and rise to notoriety were more ordinary than extraordinary (Fig. 8.1).
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