Caroline's comets

Eight comets form a circle around a quote taken from the notebook of Caroline Herschel. The quote reads: I see an object like a star with a burr.
Royal Astronomical Society

Title: Caroline's comets


A piece from Caroline Herschel’s notebooks that we have in the RAS library where she observed a comet. I wanted to capture the observation and her beautiful handwriting. The piece from the notebook is surrounded by 8 (rainbow) comets, because Caroline observed 8 comets.

Maker: Sheila Kanani, RAS Diversity, Education & Outreach Officer

Techniques used: Hand sewn embroidery (various stitches)


Since working at the RAS I have been introduced to the work of Caroline Herschel. I have been inspired by her story, made more enthralling because of her notebooks in the library, and her connection to the RAS. We’ve had many successful outreach events that we created around the theme of Caroline and her comets, so it made sense for me to depict her in this way. I love celebrating the work of women astronomers and she is one of my favourite role models!

Embroidery was a new hobby for me, started so I could take part in the quilt project. I’ve found it most therapeutic during the pandemic, so thank you for that. I’ve joined in most online sessions and it has been wonderful to meet fellow quilters across the globe. The quilt is, in my opinion, the highlight of our 2020 celebrations.

Social media / website:  Twitter handle @saturnsheila