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Old 30-01-2013, 02:07 AM   #38
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Lightbulb Williamina

Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming (May 15, 1857 – May 21, 1911) was a Scottish astronomer. During her career, she helped develop a common designation system for stars and catalogued thousands of stars and other astronomical phenomena. Fleming is especially noted for her discovery of the Horsehead nebula in 1888...

She worked as a maid in the home of Professor Edward Charles Pickering. Pickering became frustrated with his male assistants at the Harvard College Observatory and, legend has it, famously declared his maid could do a better job..

Fleming was placed in charge of dozens of women hired to do mathematical classifications and edited the observatory's publications. In 1899, Fleming was given the title of Curator of Astronomical Photographs. In 1906, she was made an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society of London, the first American woman to be so elected. Soon after, she was appointed honorary fellow in astronomy of Wellesley College. Shortly before her death, the Astronomical Society of Mexico awarded her the Guadalupe Almendaro medal for her discovery of new stars..

Last edited by lightgiver; 30-01-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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