Williamina Fleming, the woman who discovered a more than 10-thousand star hotel

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Once hired, the director of the Observatory of Harvard college, the young man has seen his career as a scientist, to take-off for each new search

When he married Williamina Fleming, the accountant for James He is not expected to have a well-known one of the women, significance of astronomy in our country. On the contrary, he was thought to have signed up for the sacred marriage with a naive teacher.

It is clear that in the age of 20 years, and Williamina, still not showing his tremendous skill for life. She hadn’t even dreamed of getting into an observatory. But when he was gone, leaving her alone with a child, she had to find a job.

The first job that the scot has managed was as a maid in the home of professor Edward Charles Pickering. Oddly enough, the man was also the director of the Observatory of Harvard University.

The Observatory of Harvard University. / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A starry night sky

During working hours, Williamina was illustrated by the size of your intelligence is always talking to the wife of Edward. Very impressed with the ability of a young woman, Elizabeth, Pickering insisted that her husband admitted to the employee.

Thus, in 1879, however, Edward has hired a young teacher to carry out some administrative duties at the observatory. The job would only be part-time, took the aspect ratios are still higher than in the astronomer, he saw the potential of Williamina.

In 1881, Edward has decided to give a chance to the new pupil, and he invited the aspiring astronomer to come together formally at the observatory. In the new position, Williamina learned how to analyze the spectra, stellar.

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Along with other scientists at the observatory, a young man helped to co-found the Harvard Computers, a group of women hired by Edward. Among its activities, the ladies had to calculate the grades for math and editing of the publications of the head.

The Harvard Computers, the group of women who worked for the observatory for Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A bright star

When Williamina was already more than familiar with the work of all the stars in the sky, his widow, Mary Anna Draper has decided to create a tribute to your late husband, Henry, Draper, was published in 1886. In addition to the beautiful paper, the Henry Draper Memorial, also would fund the research of the observatory of Harvard university.

In this way, the team at Edward, he was in charge of the work on the first book in the Henry Draper. During the nine years of the survey, Williamina, classified, and cataloged more than 10 billion stars for the project.

Among them, the young astronomer found 59 nebulae, made up of about 310 variable stars and 10 new ones. In mid-1888, and she also found out that is the case the Head of the Horse, the achievement for which he was best known.

That is the case the Head of a Horse was discovered by Williamina / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The rocket launched

The career of Williamina how to be a brilliant astronomer-only, if consolidated, year-after-year. As early as 1907, for example, it was more of a list of 222 variable stars that he discovered.

Activist on behalf of women in science, the astronomer arrived to speak at the World’s Fair in 1893, arguing with their mates, scientists. During his presentation, he spoke about “the field, the work of women in astronomy.”

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In the meantime, as well as a number of other scientists, Williamina, had his name removed from some of the findings. Due to an error in the first Index Catalogue, one of his many accomplishments have been credited to Edward Pickering.

It has not been shaken, and, in the second edition of the publication, which finally got his research spot on. Compiled by Dreyer in 1908, however, the book is still not credited Williamina, as the discoverer of the Nebula Horse’s Head.

With your accomplishments, awards, honors, and publications, the star, to Williamina, only ended in may of 1911, when the astronomer was 54 years of age. She has also lived in Boston and was a victim as a result of the pneumonia.


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