The "computers" at the Harvard Observatory in the 1890's were women who examined glass photographic plates containing images of the sky. Among of their tasks were discovering stars that changed brightness in a periodic way and classifying hundreds of thousands of stars. Women were not allowed to use the world's largest telescopes until the 1960's.

Websites on Women in Astronomy

The AAS Committee on the Status of Women.

Ten Tips for Female Students in Science.

Women in Astronomy: Resource Guide.

Women in Planetary Science.

Women at the US Naval Observatory.

Leading Women Dissect the Scientific Life.


This image history was produced by the The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The text was written by Sally Stephens.


Caroline Herschel (1750-1848)
Maria Mitchell circa (1878)
Women Computers (circa 1912)
Annie J. Cannon (1863-1941)
Henrietta S. Leavitt (1868-1921)
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1979)
Beatrice M. Tinsley(1941-1982)
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
More on Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Nancy Boggess
E. Margaret Burbidge
France Cordova
Sandra Faber
Margaret Geller
Margherita Hack
Elenaor Helin
Roberta Humphreys
Christine Jones
Catherine Pilachowski
Mercedes Richards
Sally Ride
Nancy Roman
Vera Rubin
Carolyn Shoemaker
Jill Tarter
Jacqueline Van Gorkom
Sidney Wolff

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