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WOMEN

IN

ASTRONOMY

Antonia Mª M Varela PérezP

Instituto de Astrofísica sica de Canarias

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

SEPTENIO GOBCAN


SUMMARY

Reflections

Antiquity

Middle Ages

Astronomy in the Renaissance

XIX Century Women Computers

Pickering’s “Harem”

Renowned Women Astronomers of Harvard

XX Century: New Times

The Canarian Observatories: Women in the Shadow

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Reflections

Women in the Experimental Sciences, , Claramunt et al., 2003

1. Psychological:

SEX----

----GENDER-—RÔLE-----STEREOTYPES

2. Ideological: machism , feminism, sexism, mysogeny…

3. Pedagogical: mixed education, coeducacion, , etc.

Science is NEUTRAL and OBJECTIVE...however

however:

1. Science and Technology…ANDROCENTRIC

2. Masculine scientific authorityp responsible for feminine invisibility and the exclusion

of women in science.

In Mathematics and Astronomy…FAMILY

ASSISTANT.

1. History of science partial and skewed.

Aristotle: “Women

have fewer teeth than men.”

St.Augustin: “Woman

is a weak, unstable animal...”

St. . Thomas Aquinus::“This

is the subjection with which woman, , by her nature, was

placed beneath her husband; because nature herself gave man greater discernment. “

Darwin:”…

”…men

achieve greater eminence in any matter they undertake.”

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


ANTIQUITY


Prehistory (25000-8000 BC)…nomads

nomads, feminine matriarchal society

(fertility, mother-gods

gods)... )...sedentariness

and patriarchy.


The incursion of women into the world of philosophy and science

dates from Antiquity...VI

century B.C. . (Pythagorean(

school).

The societies of classical antiquity were mainly patriarchal. For example,

Greek and Roman women never possessed great political power, they were

not members of the polis or of cities in any full sense. For this reason, we

must value the role of all these women in various fields since, in spite of living

in an era in which society was dominated by a particularly male point of view,

they nevertheless achieved their place in the history of humanity.

C. Aitana Roures Segura

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


WOMEN IN ANTIQUITY

http://fundamentosporcar.wordpress.com

fundamentosporcar.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/mujeres-de-lantiguedad

Merit Ptah, 2700 B.C., the first

Women scientific.

En Hedu’Anna, 2350 B.C., Astronomy

& mathematics,

THEANO, IV B.C., wife of

Pythagoras. She is thought

to have written treatises on

mathematics, physics and

medicine, and also on the

golden proportion.

MARÍA THE JEWESS, III century

B.C.

invented two- and three-spouted

alambics.

AGNODICE 350 B.C.

was famous in the field of

medicine and obstetrics,

but also for having led

one of the first feminine

rebellions.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


ANTIGÜEDAD

Odisea en el Espacio.. L. Ventura.@IAC

Greece

Ge = Earth

Metrein = Measure

Geometry

Geometry = Measurement of the Earth

Pythagoras ( 580 – 500 B.C.) .) : The first formulations of the mathematics of space

...and

Cosmology

Cosmos = Ordered universe Cosmology = Study of the supreme order of things

...a matter of greater concern to philosophers than to scientists...

Cosmos = Universo

... in contradistinction Logos = Reason, to...

thought, reflectionR

Kaos

= Desorden

Cosmology = Reflections on the Cosmos

The Pythagoreans: the first to suggest a moving Earth

- The Earth, the Sun and other planets would be round globes orbiting a central fire -

The stars Aristotelian-Ptolemaic

are holes in the celestial vault model

through which their light is perceived;

fitted - The perfectly harmonic rotation the “word

of the celestial of God”...

spheres produces “celestial music”.

The Book of Genesis:

On the first day the Earth ...

...and

only on the fourth day

God created the Sun, Moon and

stars ...

The idea of the Earth and Man as

the centre of creation demanded a

geocentric cosmology ...

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


ANTIQUITY

AGLAONIKE OF THESSALY, first woman astronomer.

She lived around the year 400 B.C.

She was born in Thessaly and is known as the first

woman astronomer in western history.

This woman certainly studied in Mesopotamia

since she was perfectly familiar with the Saros

cycle studied by the Chaldeans. With this

knowledge she could predict eclipses with great

precision for the period.

Such knowledge surely would have given her an

important rank in a society that was greatly

influenced by the fear that certain celestial

phenomena, such as eclipses, produced in people.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


ANTIQUITY

Hypatia of Alexandria: astronomer and mathematician

Name: Hypatia

Born: Alexandría, Egypt, c. 355 A.D.

Died: 415/6 A.D.

School/Tradition: Neoplatonism

Calendario Astrónomas

Main interests: Astronomy, mathematics

Influenced by Plotinus, Aristotle, Plato

Influenced a Synesius de Cyrene, Socrates Scholasticus

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Hypatia

The School of Athens - fresco by

Raffaello Sanzio

Hypatia taught her disciples in her own home.

Among her disciples were Christians, including her

favourite Synesius of Cyrene, Bishop of Ptolemais (409-

13 A.D.), from a rich and powerful family, who

maintained a great friendship with his teacher. . He left

much written information on Hypatia, and it is through

these that we know of her works, although none of these

has survived. . Her disciples formed a close-knit

group of

pagan and Christian aristocrats, some of whom held high

office.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Hypatia

Hypatia", impression by the

English pre-Raphaelite painter

Charles William Mitchell (1885).


Martyr of science and symbol of the supposed decadence of the classical

world before Christianity and irrationality: : her anomalous character as a

woman dedicated to thought and learning, , her faith in paganism at the time

of Theodosian Christianity and the brutal tearing of her flesh by an enraged

mob of Christians.

Edward Gibbon wrote that Cyril was so jealous of her influence and

popularity that ”he

soon prompted, or accepted, the sacrifice of a virgin, who

professed the religion of the Greeks.”


However, , her murder was an exceptional and unique case. In fact, the

Alexandrian Neoplatonic school lasted until the VII century.


Feminist movements have claimed her as the paradigm of the “liberated

woman”.

@wikipedia

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


End of science of that epoch

Rise of Christianity...

...Europe

enters into the Dark Ages and Greek science

survives only in Byzantium.

EM (s.III(

s.III) Jewish healer.

Julia Saturnina (S.VI(

S.VI-VII), VII), the first woman to practise medicine in Spain

(Ref. Mujeres en Ciencias Experimentales, , Cuadernos de la UNED.Claramunt

et al.).

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


MIDDLE AGES

When? from the christianization of the Roman Empire (IV d.C. ) until the XV century

1000 years of darkness

- The Middle Ages a dark period for science.

- Religion adopts Aristotelian-Ptolemaic

cosmology.

- The Creation and its mysteries are not the concern of man, but are revealed truths.

The Fire of Ignorance

~ 400 A.D. Burning of the Library of Alexandria:

death sentence of “pagan

pagan” culture

... and an unreckonable loss to Humanity...

During the entire Middle Ages (and

later, until the time of the

Inquisition) the Church maintained the “unchristian

unchristian” practice of burning

all that was considered heretical.

One of the most illustrious victims of the auto da fe was

Giordano Bruno (1548- 1600),, who

ESAC-Madrid contradicted the 4th Holy June Scriptures 2009

and defended an “acentric

acentric” cosmology.


Women

were excluded from

social and cultural life.

Convents

and monasteries:

librarians, scribes, teachers.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

Woman teaching geometry. Illustration at the

beginning of the Medieval translation of the

principle of Euclid (c. 1310)


MIDDLE AGES

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

1179)

Born:

Died:

Order:

1098 Bermersheim (Germany)

17 September, 1179 at Bingen

Benedictine

At 14 years of age entered the Monastery of

Disibodenberg, where she was to become abbess.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Hildegard of Bingen

Protestificatio de Scivias, Fol.

1, Facsímil de Eibingen del

códice de Ruperstberg




In 1141, at the age of 42, she had a very powerful episode of

visions, during which she received the order to write down all

her future visions. From then onwards, Hildegard wrote down all

her experiences eventually to produce her first book Scivias (“Know

the way”),

which she would conclude in 1151.

In 1148, a committee of theologians, , at the request of Pope

Eugenius III, studies and approves part of Scivias. Such was her

fame that she became known as Sybil of the Rhein. People went

to listen to her words of wisdom, or to seek cures or guidance.

In this same year, , a vision moves Hildegarda to found a new

monastery in Rupertsberg. . In her new monastery she dedicates

herself to writing books on physics and medicine until 1158 and

to finishing her collection of chants with the title Symphonia armonie

celestium revelationum.

In 1165 she founds a second monastery in Eibingen, which she

visited regularly twice weekly.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Hildegarda’s works









Religious:

Scivias, on theological dogma

Liber Vitae Meritorum, on theological ethics

Liber Divinorum Operum, on cosmology, anthropology and theodicy.

Scientific:

Liber Simplicis Medicinae o Physica, on the curative properties of plants

and animals from a holistic perspective

Liber Compositae Medicinae o Causae et curae, on the origin of illnesses

and their treatments from a theoretical perspective

Another of her outstanding works is Lingua ignota, the first artificial

language in history, causing her to be named patroness of Esperantists.

Hildegarda von Bingen’s alphabet:

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegarda_de_Bingen#Galer.C3.ADa_de_im.C3.A1genes

Medieval painting of a spherical

Earth with various seasons at the

same time. Fol. 38, Liber Divinorum

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

Operum I, 4.

The Universe, Fol. 14, Scivias I, 3.


Fátima of Madrid (X-XI centuries), Islamic astronomer

Spent most of her life in Cordoba,

then the intellectual centre of the world.

•Daughter of the astronomer Maslama al-Mayriti.

•Wrote a series of works called The Corrections

of Fátima.

•Helped her father with correcting the

Astronomical Tables of al-Khwarizmi, adjusting

them to the meridian of Cordoba, to be used as

the centre of coordinates for astronomical

calculations.

•Prepared calendars.

•Calculated tables of the true position of the Sun,

Moon and Planets.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

•Compiled tables for trigonometric ratios and

spherical trigonometry, astrological tables,

parallax tables, lunar phases and eclipses.


The Renaissance and Astronomy

The El Nuevo Copernican Mundo Revolution

...y la nueva Ciencia

A change of perspective ...revolutionary

but not fully...

Copernicus (1473- 1543)

mechanism of epicycles

Imperfect motion

Hasta 1543) este momento, : proposes los axiomas a heliocentric de la “cosmolog

cosmología system but dominante” based on es the

decir,

epicycles.

de la visión del Mundo y del Universo “oficialmente aceptada” son :

-La Tierra es el centro del Universo (cosmología geocéntrica)

- El mundo of Tycho de los Brahe Humanos ( 1546- y 1601) el Cielo and tienen the mathematics naturaleza of

diferente

Tampoco supralunary había a world

prueba de que la Tierra fuese redonda,

en cuyo caso, navegando hacia el Oeste se tenía que llegar a “las Indias”...

End of the supralunary

the same Ptolemaic

The observations of

of Johannes Kepler (1571- 1630)

allow the orbits of the planets to be determined, demonstrating that:

- the orbits are not circular but elliptical;

- the motion is not uniform but accelerated, the velocity being greatest at perihelion.

Galileo Galilei ( 1564 - 1642 ) , with his telescopes (among

the first),

discovers:

- Sunspots

- The phases of Venus

- Four moons around Jupiter

With these discoveries

demonstrating that

... El discoveries descubrimiento he brought del “Nuevo down Mundo” an axiom plantea of “classical

classical” posibilidad cosmology,

de que las cosas

that celestial bodies are not “perfect

and free from blemish”;

sean diferentes de como siempre se habían an querido imaginar

...y abre así la puerta a una nueva era científica...

Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727 ) :

discovers the law explaining both the fall of a ripe apple and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion...

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


THE RENAISSANCE

AND ASTRONOMY





The movement of cultural revitalization that took place in Western

Europe in the XV and XVI centuries. Its principal exponents are to

be found in the arts, although there was also renovation in literature

and the sciences (both

natural and and human)..

From medieval theocentrism to renaissance anthropocentrism.

The Renaissance sprang from the diffusion of humanistic ideas,

which gave rise to a new conception of man and the world..

More women wrote poetry and their interest in science, politics and

music also increased. For example, , Galileo corresponded with the

Duchess of Tuscany concerning his astronomical discoveries and in

defense of the Copernican hypothesis..

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


The Scientific Revolution (XVI and

XVII centuries)

The Scientific Revolution of the XVI and XVII centuries witnessed a great

influx of women into the field of science; however, women were forbidden

entry into the universities.




Assisted family members or helped with their skills in painting (scientific

illustrations).

Margaret Cavendish, an aristocrat of the XVII century and Duchess of

Newcastle, took part in the most important scientific debates of her time.

Although she was not permitted to be a fellow of the Royal Society, she was

once allowed to attend one of its meetings.Others, the Duchess of

Cavendish and the Marchioness of Châtelet.

In Germany, the tradition of female participation in production of scientific

results enabled some women to take part in observational sciences,

particularly astronomy. Between 1650 and 1710, women represented in

Germany 14% of the scientists in astronomy. The best known of these

women astronomers was Maria Winkelmann.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


THE RENAISSANCE AND

ASTRONOMY

Sofía a Brahe (1556-1643),

1643), Denmark.

Sister of Tycho Brahe. She show a great

passion for the stars from early childhood.

In 1566, when she was 10 year old, she

helped Tycho with his astronomical

observations. Years later she wished to enter

university but was prevented from doing so

because of her sex, so she persuaded her

parents to allow her to take private classes in

mathematics, music, astrology, alchemy,

medicine, geneology and classical literature.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

http://hypatia.morelos.gob.mx/hno5/conociendoa...htm


THE RENAISSANCE AND

ASTRONOMY

Sofía a Brahe (1556-1643),

1643), Denmark.

Watercolour of the

observatory and gardens of

Uraniborg. @wikipedia

In her adolescence she worked

at the her brother’s observatory

called the Castle of Uraniborg

on the island of Hven, the

greatest pre-telescopic

observatory.

• calculations of eclipses

and cometary paths.

First Astronomical Research Centre

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

http://hypatia.morelos.gob.mx/hno5/conociendoa...htm


THE RENAISSANCE AND

ASTRONOMY

Sofía a Brahe (1556-1643),

1643), Denmark.




Her parents soon forced her to marry, which prevented her from continuing with

her work. When her father died, , 10 years later, she dedicated herself to alchemy,

biology and horticulture. She also continued to help her brother at Uraniborg with

his astronomical observations which formed the observational foundation for

modern predictions of planetary orbits.

They were the first to measure the exact positions of the planets

The compiled a catalogue of planetary positions over several decades. This

catalogue was the most accurate set of uniform data concerning the positions of

the planets with respect to the stellar background up to that time.

Kepler worked with Tycho and obtained his measurements...

...enabling

him to

discover the three laws that govern planetary motion. These laws later provided

the basis for the Universal Law of Gravitation of Newton.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

http://hypatia.morelos.gob.mx/hno5/conociendoa...htm


María Cunitz (1610-1664),

1664),

Silesia (now(

in Poland)

Daughter and wife of

physicians, , her husband

was an amateur

astronomer

She attempted to correct

the Rudolphine Tables of

Kepler

She wrote Urania Propitia

in 1650.

She became known as the

"Pallas

of Silesia" .

MARIA CUNITZ

Elizabeth Korpman, married the astronomer Hevelius, and continued making

new observations to improve the work of Cunitz. Firmamentum sobieskanum and

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

Prodomus astronomiacae, Catalogue of 1888 stars.


ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

MARÍA A MARGARETHE

WINKELMANN KIRCH






Winkelmann (1670-1720),

1720), Germany

Started in astronomy with her uncle,

married Kirsch, Prussia’s best-known

astronomer

Preparation of calendars, planetary

conjunctions, , etc.

Discovered the Comet of 1702,

attributed to her husband.

Fought to enter the Berlin Academy

by was denied entry...

...being

a

woman...

...with

no university

studies...

...The

feared that she would

“set a bad example”.

Since the founding of the Berlin Academy of

Sciences only 14 of the 2900 members have been

women, of these only 4 with full membership.


Other women astronomers in the

Renaissance

In 1680, Jeanne DUMÉE E : “women

women were not incapable of

studying because they had the same brain as men.” Since she was

17 year old she devoted herself to astronomy. . Her works are in the

Bibliotéque

Nationale in Paris. Studies on the motion of the Earth

and establishing the theories of Copernicus and Galileo.

Nicole-Reine

Étable

de la Brière

re LEPAUTE (1723-1788),

1788),


wife of the King’s horlogian, investigated oscillations of the

pendulum... her husband’s Traité d´horlogérie…reputationreputation for being

one of the best astronomical computers.

Worked with Lalande and Clairaut on studies of Comet Halley, some

of her achievements attributed to Clairaut.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


CAROLINE HERSCHEL

Discovered 8 comets, 3 nebulae and

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

compiled two astronomical catalogues.

Caroline Lucretia Herschel (1750-

1848), England.

Sister, assistant and housekeeper

of Sir William Herschel.

Interests: Mathematics, astronomy

and philosophy.

Honorary member of the

Astronomical Society of London

(now the Royal Astronomical

Society)

Gold Medal for Science of the

King of Prussia.

The first professional woman

astronomer in history…earning 50

pounds a year.


Wang Zhenyi (1768-1797), astronomer

•Studied lunar eclipses with

models she built in her garden.

•Wrote 12 books on

mathematics and astronomy.

•Took meteorological

measurements in an effort to

predict droughts and floods

In 1994 the IAU

named a crater

on Venus after her.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

XIX CENTURY WOMEN

Between 1859 and 1940, 426 American

women worked measuring and classifying

stellar spectra.

MARIA MITCHEL

(1818-1889)

1889)

First woman astronomer

in the United States.

From a Quaker family

Worked as a librarian

and collaborated

intensely in her father’s

observatory.

She defined herself as:

“having

a normal level of

activity but with

extraordinary patience.”

COMPUTERS


First woman to enter the American

Academy of Arts and Sciences (1848) and

the American Association for the

Advancement of Science (1850).

Worked at Vassar College, earning only

a third as much as her colleagues. She

was the first director of the Observatory..

Collaborated with the US Naval

Observatory.

Received the gold medal of the King

of Denmark.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

Founded the Assocation for the

Advancement of Women..


“The stars are not just bright points of light,

they also transmit the greatness of the

Universe."

She was famous for asking her students: “Did

you read that in a book or did you observe it

directly? "

“We all need imagination in science”.

•Calculated tables of the positions of Venus.

•Discovered the comet named after her: "Miss Mitchell's Comet“ (Comet 1847 VI)

•She has a crater named after her on the Moon.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


WILLIAMINA FLEMING

(Mina or Mrs Fleming)

Women astronomers: professors or observatory assistants.

Most notable at Harvard:

Williamina Fleming

Born in Scotland in 1857

1878 emigrates to Boston

with her husband, who

abandons her pregnant

with his child after a year.

Works as Dr Edward

Pickering’s assistant, in

1879 E. Pickering Fleming

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

is born.

Classified 10498 stars, discovered more than

300 variable stars and 59 nebulae.

Published in Astrophysical Journal and in the

Harvard Annals.


PICKERING’S ASTRONOMICAL

HAREM

Mitchel convinced Pickering that women were particularly skilled at

observations and tedious and repetitive calculations. Pickering then

hired 21 women to carry out the classification and cataloguing of

stars.

Photograph of Pickering

together with the women on his

staff (year 1913).

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

http://www.astrogea.org/surveys/dones_harvard.htm


From left to right:: Ida Woods, Evelyn Leland, Florence Cushman, Grace Brooks, Mary Van,

Henrietta Leavitt, Mollie O'Reilly, Mabel Gill, Alta Carpenter, Annie Jump Cannon, Dorothy Black and

Arville Walker, together with Frank Hinkely and Professor Edward King (year 1918).

For working seven hours a day, six days a week, they earned between 25

and 35 cents an hour. Some were known as “computers” because they

carried out the classification of stars and the reduction of complex data;

others, who worked as assistants and were called “recorders” because

they recorded the data.

Rigidly directed by Fleming, whom they called the “keeper of the archive” of

astronomical photographs at Harvard, first institutional post awarded to a

woman at Harvard.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Other Harvard women astronomers

Antonia Maury

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

of note

Maury (1866-1952)

1952)….study

and

discovery of the star Beta Lyrae.

Annie Jump Cannon (1863

(1863-1941) 1941)….stars

of the

Southern Hemisphere and the spectroscopic

classification system that we now use. She succeeded

Fleming.

Dover, Delaware. Graduated at the University of Wellesley in

1884. Travelled for several years and went to Europe,

becoming a devotee of photography and music. In 1894 she

returned to Wellesley for a year to take an advanced course in

astronomy, and in 1895 she matriculated at Radcliffe in order

to continue the lectures given by Edward C. Pickering, who

was the director of Harvard College Observatory.


Other Harvard women astronomers

of note

In 1896 Annie Jump Cannon was employed by Professor Edward

Charles Pickering to catalogue variable stars and to classify the

spectra of stars observed at the Arequipa station.

Construction of the Arequipa station with the Misti volcano in the background.

http://www.astrogea.org/surveys/oak_ridge.htm#La%20Estaci%F3n%20de%20Arequipa

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Other Harvard women astronomers

of note

Interior of the station.

Meridian photometer.

The contribution of the Arequipa station to astrophysics was incalculable. They

help in the observation of the Cepheids in the Magellanic Clouds, which led Miss

Henrietta S. Leavitt to find the famous period-luminosity that permitted the

determination of the size of our Galaxy, the distances of neighbouring galaxies

and finally to the distance scale of the Universe (Hubble’s law).

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Other Harvard women astronomers

of note

Henrietta Levitt

(1968-1921)

1921)…discovered

1777

variable stars in the Magellanic

Clouds and the period-

luminosity law of the Cepheids.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Other Harvard women astronomers

Henrietta Levitt

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

of note

In the course of her work, Leavitt discovered four

novas and around 2400 variables – practically

half of all the variable stars then known. She also

studied Algol-type eclipsing variables and

asteroids.

She was a member of Phi Kappa Beta, the American Association of

University Women, the American Association for the Advancement

of Science and she was also an honorary member of the American

Association of Variable Star Observers.

Her important contribution to the advancement of science was

internationally recognized when, in 1925, the Swedish Academy of

Sciences nominated her for the Nobel Prize.


ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

XX century, new times

Until the middle of the century women were barred access to observing

facilities.

The only woman permitted to use a telescope in the ’30s was CECILIA

PAYNE-GAPOSCHKIN (1900-1980), given her great reputation, but

she was only permitted a few hours out of courtesy, not regular access.

150 articles, 4 books and 1st woman professor of Harvard.

MARGARET BURBIDGE (1919-), British. Jointly with her

husband, she made notable contributions to our understanding of the

formation of chemical elements in the interiors of stars through nuclear

fusion (nucleosynthesis) and the theory of quasars. Director of the RGO

and president of the American Astronomical Society.

The 1st woman to use a telescope officially at Mount Palomar was the

American VERA RUBIN (b. 1928 in Philadelphia). Pioneer in the study

of galactic rates of rotation. Her discovery of “flat rotation curves” is the most

direct and strongest evidence for dark matter...”Equality is as elusive as dark

matter.”


XX Century, new times






JOCELYN BELL-BURNELL BURNELL (née(

Burnell, , b. 1943).

Failed her “11+ exam” to enter grammar school.

Passed the “13+ exam” and entered York Grammar School.

1965: graduated in Glasgow.

1968: obtained her PhD in Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.


During her doctorate she discovered, together with her director (Anthony

Hewish) the class of objects that were later to be called pulsars.

THIS DISCOVERY, AND ITS THEORETICAL EXPLANATION WON HEWISH

AND RYLE THE NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS.

Jocelyn Bell was excluded because she was still a doctoral student when

she made the discovery!

She continued her career in prestigious research centres, including the Royal

Observatory Edinburgh and Oxford University..

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


In July 1967 Bell detected regularly (1/second) pulsating signals

("Little Green Man 1" (PSR B1919+21), later identified by Hewish as

a rapidly rotating neutron star.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


PARIS PISMIS (1911-1999), astronomer.

•Born in Istambul, of Armenian origin.

•The first woman in Turkey to enter university,

gaining her doctorate in mathematics.

•Married a Mexican mathematician and

became the first professional astronomer in

Mexican history.

• Worked in the Observatorio Astronómico

Nacional (Mexico)

•Left as her legacy more than 100

astronomers currently working in UNAM

(Mexico)

•Discovered 20 open clusters and 3 globular

clusters.

•Contributed to the first explanation of spiral

structure in galaxies

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Charlotte Moore Sitterly

Solar spectrum

Carolyn Shoemaker

Codiscoverer of the comet

Catherine Cesarsky

(Director of ESO)

Margherita Hack

(Director of Trieste Obs.)

Melissa McGrath

Hubble Space Telescope team

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


OBSERVATORIES IN THE CANARIES

1856-1912

Women in the shadow

1959

JESSIE DUNCAN

1960

MARÍA ALMEIDA

1985

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Charles Piazzi Smyth

(1819-1900)

Born in Naples on 3 January, 1819

1825: Bedford.

1835: Cape Observatory (South Africa).

1843: Assistent to Sir Thomas Maclear

Observations of Comet Halley and the Great Comet.

1845: Astronomer Royal for Scotland and professor of

astronomy at Edinburgh University.

Edinburgh Observations vols. xi-xv

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1855: R. Stephenson places his yacht Titania at Piazzi Smyth’s disposal,

Titania.

G.B. Airy approves the project and the First Lord of the Admiralty grants

permission.

1856: On board the Titania, £500 donated by the Admiralty and Airy gave £

300 for the honeymoon in Tenerife!

Patrons:

The Royal Society

The Royal Astronomical Society

The British Association

Sir John Herschel

Stephenson

Airy

Telescopes, chronometers, actinometers,

barometers, etc.

Southampton Hall on 24 June and

on 8 July, 1856, he arrives at the coast of Santa Cruz

with his wife, Jessie Duncan.

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ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

On 10 July they arrive at Puerto de la Cruz

On 14 July he begins his ascent of Mount Teide


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@George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.


Pico Teide

Montes Tenerife

In hommage to Piazzi Smyth, Teide

and the Montes Teneriffe have been

commemmorated on the Moon since

the XIX century.

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

Foto NASA


In memory of

JESSIE PIAZZI SMYTH

Daughter of Thomas Duncan, the dear wife of Charles

Piazzi Smyth LL.D. Ed. late Astronomer Royal for Scotland

who was his faithful and sympathetic friend and companion

through 40 years of varying scientific experiences

by land and sea abroad as well as at home at 12000 feet up in the atmosphere

on the wind swept Peak of Teneriffe as well as underneath and upon the

GREAT PYRAMID OF EGYPT

Until she fell asleep in the LORD JESUS CHRIST

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At Clova Ripon on the 24th day of March 1896 aged 80.


XXI Century

According to the International Astronomical Union (2003) 12% of

astronomers are women.

•Maximum in Argentina, 35%

•UNAM, 21%

•Spain 30%

•Germany and The Netherlands


A final word

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell

Burnell (Science

304, p.489, 2004)

“Women

and minorities should not try to adapt. It’s

time that society movilized towards women, and

not women towards society.”

Maria Mitchel

“Study

as if you were going to live forever; live

as if you were going to die tomorrow. . "

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009


Thank you for listening!

http://wia2009.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html

ESAC-Madrid 4th June 2009

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