Caroline Herschel was a famous astronomer. She discovered eight comets, and made observations of nearby stars and distant galaxies. She did all this 200 years ago, during a time when women didn’t usually have jobs in science, and she was the first woman to be paid for her scientific work.

The story behind the image

What have we based this design on?

Nebula design

Caroline Herschel, although famous for discovering comets, spent a lot of time cataloguing nebulae - big clouds of gas and dust. Her nephew, John Herschel, who was also a Fellow of the Royal Society, was an astronomer too. The drawings below are all his, drawn very painstakingly by hand.

Nebulae collection

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And here is the drawing that we turned into the design:

Nebula

 Download a larger image here.