Ten fun facts about Maria Mitchell


Fact 1
She received a gold medal from King Frederick VII of Denmark for her discovery of a comet in 1847. The comet is called the Maria Mitchell Comet.

Fact 2
After her death, she was inducted into the United States National Women's Hall of Fame.

Fact 3
Her telescope can be found in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.


Fact 4
Her father opened his own school and Mitchell was a student as well as a teacher's assistant to him.

Fact 5
Nantucket, where she was born, was a place where independence and equality thrived for women, since their husbands would leave to the sea and they were left to manage their affairs.

Fact 6
In 1835, she opened her own school and even allowed children of color to attend, though it was not a popular move.

Fact 7
She worked as a librarian for 20 years in 1836 at the Nantucket Atheneum.

Fact 8
Although she was credited with the comet, Francesco de Vico tried to take credit for it two days after her discovery.

Fact 9
After teaching awhile as the professor of astronomy at Vassar College, she demanded a raise since her male colleagues made more money than she did.

Fact 10
She was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, along with two other women, the first elected to the American Philosophical Society.


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Short about Maria Mitchell
An American astronomer.

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