Maria Mitchell

This section will provide profiles of some of the most famous astronomers in history - however, it will also highlight the success of some astronomers you won't unnecessarily have heard of. This is because astronomy, along with most of physics and engineering disciplines, is dominated by men, and the stories of several prominent female astronomers have been lost in history. 

For example, the portrait on the right shows Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) who was an American astronomer, she discovered a comet in 1847 which was named after her. She was the first American woman to work professionally as an astronomer, and throughout her career encouraged more female astronomers and demanded to be paid the same as her male colleagues as a professor at Vassar College in the United States.

The achievements of the people highlighted in this section have changed the course of history and our understanding of the Universe - why not explore some of their stories.

Test your knowledge of the achievements of several historical figures using our Astronomical Influencers Quiz!