The Finding Ada site has an excerpt up from their women in STEM anthology called A Passion For Science: Tales of Discovery and Invention, which is available here. This excerpt, contributed to the book by Sue Nelson, is about Williamina Fleming who identified and catalogued thousands of stars as well as the Horsehead Nebula which was not “discovered” until years after her death. Her story is truly incredible and inspiring- a must read for anyone interested in astronomy.
Within thirty years of what can only be described as an inauspicious start, Fleming had catalogued over 10,000 stars and had discovered 310 variable stars, 10 novae, 52 nebulae and the hot dense stars known as white dwarfs. Long after her death, when the Hubble Space Telescope unveiled the stunningly beautiful Horsehead Nebula in unprecedented detail, history had already noted that it was Williamina Fleming who had first identified the nebula’s unusual shape.
…She established the first photographic standards of magnitude — an important tool for astronomers — that were then used to measure the brightness of variable stars, whose light fluctuated. She also developed a new Pickering-Fleming system to classify stars by their spectra alphabetically, A, B, C and so on, according to the strength of the star’s hydrogen spectral line.
By 1907 Fleming had been appointed an honorary fellow in astronomy at Jump Cannon’s alma mater and was the first American woman to be elected an honorary member of London’s Royal Astronomical Society. In 1910, Fleming published her discovery of stars that have almost exhausted their nuclear fuel. These small stars have expelled their outer layers, creating a planetary nebula and leaving an extremely dense hot core. They were called white dwarfs because the first few discovered were white.
Below is the Hubble Space Telescope’s picture of the Horsehead Nebula. Read More.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.