Cecilia Payne- The forgooten woman

From movies to your mother-in-law, put it here and try not to hurt each other
Post Reply
User avatar
koimaster
Founder
Posts: 43826
Joined: December 16th 2009, 11:00pm
Location: Oregon, Thanks for visiting! Now go back home!
Contact:

Cecilia Payne- The forgooten woman

Post by koimaster » May 23rd 2021, 11:33pm

Image

Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.”

Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
OH WAIT LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.

Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.
Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said to heck with that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.
Image

1946-2006

“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
bbattle
Senior Member & WIS
Posts: 1392
Joined: July 11th 2019, 2:51pm
Facebook ID: 0
Contact:

Re: Cecilia Payne- The forgooten woman

Post by bbattle » May 24th 2021, 6:53am

More women in Astronomy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Computers

Willamina Fleming, Antonia Maury, Anna Winlock, Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Leavitt, Florence Cushman, and many others were part of astronomer Edward Pickering's team known as the Harvard Computers. After Pickering's death in 1917, Annie Jump Cannon directed the team.
Post Reply

Return to “Anything and Everything Else”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests