Maria Mitchell studied the stars, and taught her students to reach for them.
Her mien was as plain and uncompromising as her treasured brass telescope, her life a long and relentless pursuit of the truth. At the age of twelve, Maria Mitchell observed an annular eclipse of the sun with her father, helping him to make and record his calculations, and for nearly six decades thereafter she was never out of touch with a telescope, nor her mind far from the heavens. She used to say it was an interest in mathematics—that and her father’s passion for astronomy—that started her sweeping the skies. But it was also the place she lived: Nantucket.Read more »