Annie Jump Cannon in 1922

On May 9, 1922, the International Astronomical Union formally adopted the stellar classification system developed by Annie Jump Cannon.  With only minor changes, her system is still used today.  Annie Jump Cannon (December 11, 1863 – April 13, 1941) was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of the contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures and spectral types. She was nearly deaf throughout her career. She was a suffragist and a member of the National Women’s Party.  She was also the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford University (1925).

Annie Jump Cannon at her desk at the Harvard College Observatory

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2 responses »

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