Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.
Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.
Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.
Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”
Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).
Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.
Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.
Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.
Rules: Just insert your answers to the questions below. Tag at least 10 followers.
I was tagged by emilysepicfitnessjourney! Go check out her blog! :)
Name: Joanne, although I usually go by Jo
Nickname: Joface (by Sara - go check her blog out too!) or Jenova (online)
Birthday: 18th December - exactly 1 week before Christmas
Gender: Cis female
Sexuality: Bisexual, although I’m heteroromantic
Height: 5’3.5” (the .5” is very important)
Time Zone: GMT
What time and date is it there: It is currently 22:14 on 13/09/14
Average hours of sleep I get each night: About 3-5 at the moment -.- Then I make up another 3 hours of naps in the afternoon
The last thing I googled was: Shield bugs
My most used phrase(s): ”…or something”
First word that comes to mind: ???
What I last said to a family member: I have no idea. I don’t really talk to my family that much :/ I think I was talking to my brother about his new girlfriend?
One place that makes me happy and why?: I’m not actually sure, to be honest. I suppose there’s a lake near Shaun’s house and going round there puts me at ease and makes me feel calm. But I’m not sure about happy. I did think maybe my mum’s house but I’ve not been to her new place, and she’s moved in with her new boyfriend and his son so I doubt it’d be the same. I prefer to be in other worlds - Kalos or Ivalice or Middle Earth - than this one.
How many blankets I sleep under: 1, usually. Although when it gets cold (and it’s starting to) I get a second one out.
Favorite beverage(s): Pepsi max, lucozade energy (pink lemonade flavour) and chocolate milk (specifically Asda’s chocolate milk)
The last movie I watched in the cinema: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Three things I can’t live without: Pole dance, cake and cats
Something I plan on learning: Norwegian. I have a “Teach Yourself Norwegian” book but I haven’t got it out for a while :/ I should do that again!
A piece of advice for all my followers: It’s okay to have feelings that you don’t like feeling. It’s okay to have feelings you’re not proud of. It’s okay to have feelings you’d rather not have. Don’t suppress them. Don’t deny them. Let yourself feel. Come to terms with them. How you react to them is what defines you, not the feelings you have.
You all have to listen to this song: Photosynthesis - Frank Turner No seriously. Actually go and listen to this song, even if it’s not your type of music. Take those lyrics in. Then wait for it to grow on you. And then listen to the whole Love, Ire and Song album.
I’m not going to tag anyway, but please feel free to fill this out yourself and tag me! I love learning about my followers :)