Maria Mitchell

By Andrew Davis and Mack Hankins

"Non Frustra Signorum Obitus Speculamur et Ortus"


Place of Birth: Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA

Date of Birth: August 1st, 1818

Parents: Lydia Coleman Mitchell, William Mitchell

Siblings: Phebe, Eliza, Anne, and Sally Mitchell

Education: North Grammar School, Cyrus Peirce's School for Young Ladies

Religious Affiliation: Quaker, then Christian Unitarianism

Place of Death: Lynn, Massachusetts, USA

Date of Death: June 28th, 1889

"We especially need imagination in science. Question everything."

~Maria Mitchell

Interesting Fact 1

"Miss Mitchell's Comet" was originally invisible to the naked eye, but Maria used a telescope she designed to spot the anomaly in the sky.

Mitchell Discovers C/1847 T1

Sunday, Aug. 1st 1847 at 9pm

61 Main St

Nantucket, MA

The discovering of this comet is often credited to an Italian of the name of Francesco diVico, but Maria actually discovered what is now known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet" two days before he did.

Mitchell discovered this comet from the roof of the National Pacific Bank on Main Street, where her father worked as a cashier.

Interesting Fact 2

By discovering this comet, she earned great fame and a gold medal from the King of Denmark. Why? Because she was only the second woman to spot a comet with the naked eye.

Women's Rights

Maria Mitchell is known as the first acknowledged female astronomer in the United States. Which is an important title to own, considering women were not given the right to an education in her time period. Mitchell was also a participant in the founding of the American Association for the Advancement of Women. She was a strong believer in equality in the classroom, and practiced this belief as a college astronomy professor.

Interesting Fact 3

Besides being a woman's rights activist, Mitchell was also the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Smore by Keith Davis and Mack Hankins