Women in Astronomy Contribute to Science

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Women in Astronomy Contribute to Science

Joseph Barkoff/ Oak Leaf

Joseph Barkoff/ Oak Leaf

Joseph Barkoff/ Oak Leaf

Tara Kaveh, Staff Writer

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Women’s History Month is a time to honor all women for their accomplishments and contributions to society. In the last century, the world has seen prominent women doctors, lawmaker, scientists and even–women astronomers.

On March 12 SRJC Astronomy 3 teacher Laura Sparks will speak about women astronomers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sparks will cover many of the topics she usually covers in her Stellar Astronomy class, but with a focus on women’s contributions.

Her lecture will focus on the contributions of two renowned women astronomers: Henrietta Swan Leavitt and Annie Jump Cannon.

Leavitt’s discoveries were what first allowed astronomers to measure the distance between the Earth and faraway galaxies. Cannon is credited with the creation of the first classification scheme which organized and classified stars based on their temperatures.

Although neither woman received much recognition in her time, these women discovered much of what we know today about stars in space.

Sparks will speak for one hour in the Ellis Auditorium, followed by a telescope viewing of the starry night sky.

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