Friday, July 10, 2009

Most Inspirational Women Astronomers

From today's AASWOMEN:
4. Most Inspirational Women Astronomers
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]
[Last week's item from the NewScientist survey on "Most Inspirational Woman Scientist Revealed" triggered several comments. Perhaps we should come up with a list of inspirational women astronomers. Who would you put in the top ten? - Eds.]

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was #4 on the NewScientist list.

One AASWOMEN reader wanted to know, "Where is Cecilia Payne, perhaps the greatest astronomer and one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century?"

What about Henrietta Leavitt, Maria Mitchell, and Annie Cannon? All three inspired me.
I would also list Caroline Herschel. I like to think that the new infrared space telescope (which just released some first light images today!) is named for her. I also think that Vera Rubin is a living legend in her own right.

Your turn, blog readers: who would you consider the most inspirational women astronomers?

3 comments:

Mrs. CH said...

How about Carolyn Spellman Shoemaker, who found numerous comets, including Shoemaker-Levy 9 - the famous comet that spit up and hit Jupiter?

I'll be honest though - I had to google that to find names! I'm terrible with that stuff.

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kelle said...

Meg Urry. For me, the most visible and vocal advocate and group-mentor for female astronomers. In particular, several of her stories and tidbits of wisdom that she related during the WIA II conference, when I was a grad student, stick with me to this day and I regularly pass them on to others.