Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Maria Mitchell 'Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going'

 Maria Mitchell ( 1818 –  1889) was an American astronomer.  Mitchell was the first professional female astronomer in America and the second woman in history to discover a comet. Mitchell's  parents believed, contrary to the practice of the time, in giving girls the same quality of education as boys. Her father, a school principal, taught her the basics of astronomy and, at age 12, she helped him to calculate the moment of an annular eclipse.

In 1847, her discovery of a comet that became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet" -- the first by a woman since the discoveries by German astronomer Caroline Herschel in the late 18th century -- made her famous worldwide and she was awarded a gold medal prize for the discovery from King Frederick VII of Denmark. In 1865, she became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College. Among her many honors, Mitchell became the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1850. She also co-founded the American Association for the Advancement of Women. Today, her legacy lives on at the Maria Mitchell Observatory, named in her honor in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

* We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.

* People have to learn sometimes not only how much the heart, but how much the head, can bear.

* We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.
 * Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going.

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