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MARIA MITCHELL The person that I chose for the Womens History Month report is Maria Mitchell who was a self- taught astronomer She discovered Comet Mitchell and made amazing achievements throughout her life Maria Mitchell was born on August 1 1818 on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket to William and Lydia Mitchell When Maria Mitchell was growing up in the Quaker community few girls were allowed to study astronomy and higher mathematics Even though the Mitchells werent rich Marias father a devoted amateur most astronomers of that time were amateurs astronomer introduced her to mathematics and the night sky He also encouraged her toward teaching and passed on a sense of God as in the natural world By the time Maria was sixteen she was a teacher of mathematics at Cyrus Pierces school for young ladies where she used to be a student Following that she opened a grammar school of her own And only a year after that at the age of eighteen she was offered a job as a librarian at Nantuckets Atheneum during the day when it opened to the public in the fall of 1836 At the Atheneum she taught herself astronomy by reading books on mathematics and science At night she regularly studied the sky through her fathers telesscope For her college education even Harvard
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