• Contributions to Astronomy
  • Other Contributions to Astronomy.
  • Islamic Scientific Contributions to Civilization

Society dedicated to the scientific research focused on archaeoastronomy,ethnoastronomy, and history of astronomy in culture.

Galileo's contribution to observational astronomy was immense

The Ancient Greeks made many contributions to the field of astronomy

As a country with 5000 years of history, China has made tremendous contributions to astronomy.
From just the lives of these three female astronomers we can see the difficulties that have plagued female astronomers for centuries, even in the modern age there were battles to be had to even allow females to study the sciences. But it has taught us all that despite the many hurdles that can face us, anything is possible. These are just three of the vast amount of female astronomers who have made massive contributions to astronomy, many of whom have faced similar restrictions that they had to overcome to reveal the vast and wondrous nature of our universe, and thanks to these women, equality in the profession is now the normality.

Tycho Brahe's contributions to astronomy were enormous

Eratosthenes made numerous contributions to the sciences and arts in many fields, including geography, mathematics, astronomy, chronography (calendars), music, and literature.


A separate guide to the contributions of women in astronomy …

Returning to the modern day and close to home, my next pioneering female astronomer definitely widely accepted to have suffered at the hands of some unfair treatment, but maybe more so due to hierarchy than her gender. Jocelyn Bell Burnell (nee Bell) was born in Belfast on 15 July 1943. Her father was actually an architect who was involved in designing Armagh Planetarium. From an early age she would read books on astronomy and when in Lurgan College Preparatory Department she became one of the first girls allowed to study the sciences, with the former curriculum including those of cross-stitching and cooking. Surprisingly she failed the 11+ exam at 11 and this resulted in her parents sending her to the Quaker’s boarding school of Mount School, York and it was here she really developed her love of Physics which she credits to her admiration for her physics teacher, Mr Tillott, who, in her own words, showed her “ She pursued this interest into University, Graduating from the University of Glasgow with a Physics degree and then a doctorate from the University of Cambridge, and it was here she made her most important discovery.

After the death of her beloved brother William, Caroline was distraught, and returned to her home of Hanover in Germany and it was there she died at the mammoth age of 97. Caroline truly helped banish ideas of judging a book by its covers and that the concept that a woman with no believed prospect of a marriage is not very important to be extremely foolish. I would feel it would be safe to say not only did Caroline make history with her own work and observations, but was vital to her brothers success as well. A true heroine of astronomy.

Famous Astronomers and Astrophysicists

Previously I have written about the life of Caroline Herschel’s brother, William Herschel as he was the renowned astronomer who discovered the Planet , among other things. One of the most revealing acts in the life of was the affection he had for his sister Caroline and how he helped her join him in the astronomical history books. Caroline Hershel is the Cinderella of Astronomy. She was born in Hanover, Germany on 16 March 1750 and was the eighth of ten children. At a young age Caroline was struck ill with typhus and this resulted in stunted growth, meaning poor Caroline never grew taller than four foot three! This tale is less about the limitations that men put on Caroline, but more so women. In fact it was Caroline’s mother, Anna Ilse Moritzen who felt she would never marry due to her perceived limitations, and even though her father Isaac Herschel wished her to be educated, her mother believed her to be only of use as a maid and so had her trained to be a house servant and convinced her father to believe the same! And how wrong Caroline’s mother was. Thanks to her saviour of a brother Caroline was to go on to make a significant contribution to astronomy and pioneer the beginning of acceptance of women within the field.

Astronomy Interactives - UNL Astronomy Education

What did Leavitt discover despite limitations on females with the astronomical field holding her back? She made two massive contributions to astronomy with her research. When Leavitt was studying the stars using the photographic plates, there was no standard for ascertaining the magnitudes of stars and therefore Leavitt decided to create her own system. This system was adopted enthusiastically by the scientific community and by 1913 it was adopted by the International Committee on Photographic Magnitudes.

Abu al-Wafa' al-Buzjani’s 1075th Birthday - Google

Mathematician, sociologist, columnist, essayist and scholar, Kelly Miller had a remarkable influence on the intellectual life of African-Americans. When a minister took notice of Miller’s exceptional mathematical abilities, he sent him to Fairfield Institute from where he earned a scholarship to Howard and later attended John Hopkins for post-graduate studies in mathematics, physics and astronomy. However, when JH raised their tuition fee, Miller left and adopted a teaching career in sociology and later pursued his mathematics study. Miller was also the first person to teach sociology at Howard University.