Maria MitchellMaria Mitchell
American Astronomer
1818 – 1889 A.D.

Maria Mitchell, an American astronomer. She derived from her father, who taught a school in Nantucket, a fondness for astronomy, and by her intelligence in the use of instruments, and her mathematical attainments soon became an enthusiastic co-operator in his labors. Subsequently she made many observations by herself, devoted much time to the examination of nebulae and the search for comets, and was connected with the coast survey and in compiling the nautical almanac.

In 1847 she discovered a comet, for which she received a gold medal from the King of Denmark. She was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 1865 she was appointed to the chair of astronomy at Vassar College, where her later studies were of the sun and of Jupiter and Saturn.

Miss Mitchell was the first woman to be admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1887 Columbia gave her the Degree of L.L.D. An observatory in her memory was dedicated in Nantucket in 1908.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.

Quote by Maria Mitchell