Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 1, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Maria Mitchell Inspires a Generation
Credit and Copyright: Helen Wright

Explanation: "Do not look at stars as bright spots only - try to take in the vastness of the universe." Today is the 150th anniversary of the day Maria Mitchell swept the sky with her telescope and discovered the comet of 1847 (comet Mitchell 1847VI). Honored and recognized internationally for her discovery, Mitchell, who lived from 1818 to 1889, became one of the most famous American scientists of her day. Vassar College appointed Mitchell the first woman Professor of Astronomy and she remained the only woman ever elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences until 1943. Mitchell mentored a generation of scientists, and is fondly remembered for her ability to motivate. "We especially need imagination in science," Maria Mitchell said. "Question everything."

Tomorrow's picture: Colliding Supernova Remnants

< Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.