Sunday, 15 November 2015

Coming up for air

As a weekend of reading proofs draws to a close, I feel the need to come up for air. A swift flight would do it, soaring above the trees, feeling the roller-coaster of the tail end of storm Abigail (a-big-gale great name for a storm). However, I’m not an eagle, not even a humble sparrow and I don’t have a microlight at my disposal. So instead, I’m going to look for something else to mark the day.

15 November 1738 saw the birth of William Herschel who was a big name in astronomy, having pioneered techniques such as astronomical spectrophotometry and who discovered Uranus, which was called Herschel for a while. His sister Caroline was an astronomer too. She discovered a number of comets including Herschel-Rigollet which retains her name.

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