Science

Female astronomers, you must know about

Astronomers help us discover and understand planets, stars, galaxies, and other celestial bodies beyond our Earth. We bring to you a list of female astronomers who made a significant contribution in the field dominated by men. Read further to know about them.

Nancy Grace Roman

Known as the mother of the Hubble Space Telescope, she was born in 1925 and at a small age of 11 started by organizing a backyard friend’s astronomy club. In 1949 she completed her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Chicago and, later became NASA’s first chief of astronomy. Her ground-breaking endeavor to develop orbiting telescopes including Hubble was her greatest achievement for which astronomers continue to thank her to date. Her work gave astronomers a better understanding and view of how stars form and evolve overtime period.

Vera Cooper Rubin

Known as the dark matter detective, in the 1970s when she was studying the rotation of spiral galaxies, she discovered that there was some unseen mass that was holding together the fast-rotating galaxies. This pathbreaking work was the first solid proof of the existence of invisible dark matter that makes up for most of the universe, yet gives off no light of energy. Before her passing away in 2016, she received dozens of awards and honors for her contributions to astronomy.

 Carolyn Porco

Known as the Queen of Rings, she is like a Rockstar among astronomers. She is considered the foremost expert when it comes to the understanding of the planetary rings and moons that circle the outer planets. In the 1980s, she worked on the Voyager mission to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and recently is involved in leading the imaging team on the Cassini mission, which is orbiting Saturn. She is a prolific writer, public speaker in the media, and TED Talk sensation.

 Margaret J. Geller

Cartographer of the universe, Geller’s goal has always been to map all that can, and can’t be seen in the cosmos. Though this soundsGod-like effort, the Ph.D. from Princeton and a teacher at Harvard has done tremendous work in studying the structure of galaxies and mapping the distribution of dark matter so as to comprehend its role in the universe.

 Jill Tarter

Known as the Alien tracker, astronomer Jill Tarter has spent her career in the field of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and was Director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute. Although Tarter has never made any non-earthling contact, her work in the field has made the search for cosmic neighbours scientific, well-thought-of, and even conceivable.

Aren’t they the real wonder women of space?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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