Maria Mitchell

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Maria Mitchell

Astronomer, Lived from August 1, 1818 to June, 28 1889

Training: Maria’s father built his own school where Maria was a student and a teaching assistant to her father. At home, Maria’s father taught her astronomy using his personal telescope. At age 12, Maria was already helping her father calculate the exact moment of eclipses! After her fathers school closed, she attended another school for young ladies run by Cyrus Peirce.

400spaceAccomplishments: Maria worked as a teaching assistant before she opened her own school in 1835 before she received a job as the first librarian at the Nantucket Atheneum. Using a telescope, Maria discovered a comet now known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”. She was the second woman to receive a gold medal prize for discovering a comet that was too far away to be seen with a naked eye. Maria was also the first female member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College in 1865!

Fun Fact: Maria had 9 brothers and sisters!

Read more about her career! Astronomer, College Professor