Beginning in 1877, Harvard astronomer Edward Charles Pickering hired a team of skilled women to process astronautical data, contributing to his mission to map the cosmos.
Despite their important contributions to science, the team of women who worked for Pickering were still treated as lesser than their male counterparts. Despite the low pay, long hours and tedious, repetitive tasks, the team’s work laid important scientific foundations still utilized today. It is very much worth reading, learning about her life bringing up her son as a single mother, doing the family laundry on her one day a week off work, and her passion for spectra. One thing I would note about this article is that the repetitive animated gifs are mightily and irritatingly distracting. Follow these Gloucester, MA fishermen as they use rod and reel to catch the elusive bluefin tuna.

Explore the fascinating facets of your cranium with brainteasers, experiments, and hard science. Explore the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are going to great lengths to prepare for the end of the world. However, one team of women provided they key to our modern conception of the galaxy, thanks to their cataloguing of tens of thousands of stars.
The director of the Harvard Observatory, Pickering believed that photographs of the stars captured by the observatory held the key to understanding the universe. Their work came at a time when women were fighting for equality in science and higher education when traditional systems of power still questioned their intellectual equality.
Annie Jump Cannon, the leader of the team, catalogued a quarter of a million stars with the team, discovering that the stars fell into a continuous sequence according to spectral line patterns.

Fleming’s handwritten journal is available at Harvard library and the library will email one a PDF facsimile copy at no cost. We are celebrating brilliant women in science while referring to them as a man’s sexual property, wives, or concubines. An all-new episode of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey tells the story of this groundbreaking all-female team, whose legacy has gone woefully unrecognized by history.

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