Essay on n to Astronomy by Women

Submitted By Beccs13
Words: 847
Pages: 4

Contribution to Astronomy by Women

Women, who have contributed to the world of astronomy and space, as either scientists, medical doctors, or military officers in command of spacecrafts, are incredibly important in the field of astronomy. They have led the way for other women seeking to be involved in astronomical studies. Setting the foundation for many future women achieving in the areas of astronomy and space. An important woman who paved the way for future women astronomers, and was considered one of the first women to ever be involved with astronomy was Hypatia, from Alexandria. She was a well educated woman, becoming a mathematician, and astronomer. Sadly there are very few remains of her works. Born around 330 AD, Hypatia struggled being a woman astronomer during her lifetime. During this time early Christianity was struggling to reach the hearts and minds of the people. Being a pagan, she believed in a polytheistic religion, and was hated by many Christian leaders. On the other hand, other people also admired her for her beliefs. Hypatia was one of many early women astronomers who set a foundation for the rest to come. Another woman who was also involved with astronomy would be Caroline Herschel. Born in 1750, Herschel was yet another women not taken seriously, and was undermined by men. With all political and scientific power belonging to men, women during this time struggled to make their name known. Herschel discovered three new nebulae, eight comets, and was awarded the King of Prussia’s Gold Medal of Science for her astronomical achievements. The 20th century opened new doors for women, giving them the chances and opportunities that men were also given. Many women put forth their contributions and efforts to astronomy, making their name known in space science and astronomy. Men were usually in control of observatories and women were normally used for the up-keep of the observatories. They were not considered educated enough to handle the responsibilities and roles of participating in the observatories. That was until Edward Charles Pickering became director of Harvard College University. Edward Pickering was an American astronomer and physicist. He was responsible for discovering the first spectroscopic binary stars. At Harvard University, Pickering mostly used his photography skills to capture stellar spectra, which are used to distinguish different types of stars. Through the years when he worked at Harvard, he hired many women to assist him in the observatories. Pickering hired women to maintain equipment and help gather information. One of the many women Pickering hired was, Antonia Maury. Her responsibility was to catalog and compute stellar spectra for stars in the northern hemisphere. Another woman, known as “Lady of Luminosity”, was a college student by the name of, Henrietta Leavitt. She developed an interest, while taking an astronomy class her senior year in college. Soon after, she was hired by Edward Pickering as an assistant at Harvard College University. Her responsibility was to take care of the telescopes being used in the observatory. After taking interest in her place of work, Leavitt created a system in which she used the “north polar sequence” as a gage of brightness for stars. Thus receiving the name “Lady of Luminosity.” One unexpected woman who made a big contribution to