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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
1 October 1997 7:30 pm
The first comet to be discovered by telescope was spotted 150 years ago today by Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), the first well-known woman astronomer in the United States. While working as a librarian, Mitchell spent her nights sweeping the sky with a 4-inch telescope on the roof of her father's home. In 1847, she spotted a comet. The 29-year-old Mitchell received a gold medal from the King of Denmark, who 16 years earlier had offered the award for the first discovery of a comet not visible to the naked eye. Soon thereafter she started working for the U.S. Nautical Almanac Office, computing the positions in the sky of the planet Venus. From 1865 to 1888 Mitchell served as professor of astronomy and director of the college observatory at Vassar Female College, where she used the nation's third-largest telescope (12 inches) for her research.
[Source: Charles Coulston Gillespie, Ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1973).]