Deaf People in Astronomy and Rocket Science: Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon

Photograph of Annie Jump Cannon (side view)The picture on the left is in the Public Domain. Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941). "Deaf Maria Mitchell". A pioneer in the astronomy field, her interest in constellations was nurtured by her mother. She attended Wellesley College where she studied the sciences and mathematics and graduated as valedictorian.

She later took up photography studies, taught at Wellesley, and pursued astronomy studies at Radcliffe. She was hired as an assistant at the Harvard College Observatory, one of two Deaf women (Henrietta Swan Leavitt) where she classified more than 350,000 stars, developed a stellar classification system to describe them, discovered new stars, and novas, and curated astronomical photographs.

She won many honors, was the first woman Dean of Astronomers, and the first woman to get an honorary degree from Oxford University. The asteroid, Cannonia and the Cannon lunar crater are named for her.


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