Category: women in astronomy

Sarah Frances Whiting (1847-1927) was an astro…

Sarah Frances Whiting (1847-1927) was an astronomer and physicist. She was the instructor
of several other scientists, including the famous Annie Jump Cannon.

She studied at Ingham University, and was
appointed as the first professor of physics at Wellesley College in 1875. She
started teaching astronomy five years later. She helped establish the Whitin
Laboratory and became its first director in 1900.

Zinaida Aksentyeva (1900-1969) was a Soviet-Uk…

Zinaida
Aksentyeva
(1900-1969)
was a Soviet-Ukrainian astronomer. She was one of the first scientists who were
able to accurately find the centre of the earth.

She
graduated from Odessa University in 1924, after which she started working for
the Poltava Observatory – she became its director in 1951. Her research focused
on gravity mapping and the tidal deformation of the planet.

Carolyn Shoemaker (b. 1929) is a teacher and a…

Carolyn Shoemaker (b. 1929) is a teacher and astronomer. Even though her career in
astronomy began at the age of 51, she discovered over 800 asteroids and 32
comets, once holding the record for most comets discovered by an individual.

She first started working in astronomy at
the California Institute of Technology in 1980, where she made her important
discoveries, including 377 minor planets. She received the Exceptional
Scientific Achievement Medal from the US National Aeronautics and Space
Administration in 1996.

Williamina Fleming (1857-1911) was a Scottish …

Williamina
Fleming
(1857-1911) was a Scottish astronomer. She
catalogued thousand of stars and other phenomena throughout her career, and
discovered the Horsehead Nebula in 1888.

She started out as the maid of Edward Charles
Pickering, the director of the Harvard College Observatory; soon, he recognised
her talent and intelligence, and hired her to do administrative work. She
eventually founded and coordinated the Harvard Computers, an all-female group
of human computers working for the observatory. She discovered the first white
dwarf star, over 300 variable stars and 10 novae, among others.

Antonia Ferrín Moreiras (1914-2009) was a Span…

Antonia
Ferrín Moreiras
 (1914-2009) was a Spanish mathematician and astronomer. She was the first female
astronomer from her native region of Galicia.

She studied Physics and Chemistry in Santiago de
Compostela, and later started working in the Astronomical Observatory in the
city. She obtained her doctorate in Madrid in 1963, when she became the first
woman in Spain to defend a thesis in the field of astronomy.

Kim Weaver (b. 1964) is an astrophysics profes…

Kim
Weaver
(b. 1964) is an astrophysics professor and astronomer.
She is an expert in x-ray astronomy and has worked for NASA’s Goddard Space
Flight Center.

She obtained her PhD in astronomy in 1993
from the University of Maryland. After that, she was a research scientist at
Penn State and John Hopkins University. Her honours include the Presidential
Early Career Award and the NASA Peer Award.

Helen Dodson Prince (1905-2002) was an astrono…

Helen Dodson Prince (1905-2002) was an astronomer working for a number of prestigious institutions such as Wellesley College or MIT’s Radiation laboratory. Her pioneering research focused on solar flares.
She obtained her PhD in astronomy from the University of Michigan in 1934, where she later became a professor. She also served as the associate director of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory. In 1954 she received the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy for her contributions to the study of solar flares.

Margherita Hack (1922-2013) was an Italian ast…

Margherita Hack (1922-2013) was an Italian astrophysicist. She was an international expert in the field, and member of numerous prestigios associations, including NASA and the European Space Agency.

In 1964 she became the first female administrator of the Trieste Astronomical Observatory. In 1985 she became the Director of the Astronomy Department at the University of Trieste. The asteroid 8558 Hack, discovered in 1995, is named after her.

Antonia Maury (1866-1952) was an American astr…

Antonia Maury (1866-1952) was an American astronomer. She is best known for publishing an early catalog of stellar spectra.

She graduated from Vassar College in 1887 with honors in physics, astronomy, and philosophy. She then went on to work for the Harvard College Observatory as a human computer. She was awarded the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy in 1943.