Ponteland author LJ Ross officially renames Kielder Observatory tower after astronomer Caroline Herschel
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The work of Herschel and other women in science was celebrated at the event. Herschel and her brother William identified over 2,400 astronomical objects over a 20-year spell, and she was elected as an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1835.
LJ Ross said: “I was extremely honoured to be invited to officially rename the turret and particularly enthused by their decision to pay tribute to such an inspirational and iconic figure.
“Beyond her many contributions to astronomy, Caroline Herschel was a trailblazer of women’s rights who battled against prejudice her whole life to earn her rightful place among her peers.
“I cannot think of a more fitting homage to one of astronomy’s pioneering female heroes.”
Hannah Matterson, director of operations and marketing at Kielder Observatory, said: “We are an organisation which actively supports women in STEM and we love to inspire the next generation to get involved in astronomy and science.
“Caroline Herschel was one of the most prominent female scientists in the country in the late 1700s, and she seemed the perfect person to name our second turret after and to celebrate her contribution to science.”
The turret was renamed as part of Kielder Observatory’s 15th anniversary celebrations.
LJ Ross was chosen to lead the ceremony by the observatory’s supporters due to the Northumberland and astronomy influences in her books. Her 2017 novel Dark Skies was set in Kielder Forest.
Hannah said: “LJ Ross’s name came up again and again when we asked our supporters who should officially rename the turret.
“We know she has a love of the dark skies around Northumberland and is passionate about the North East, as we are.
“We are so pleased she could be with us for the ceremony.”
LJ added: “The dark sky area is a place that carries a special significance for me.