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Famous Female Astronomers

List of famous female astronomers, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female astronomers list contains the most prominent and top females known for being astronomers. There are thousand of females working as astronomers in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic astronomers have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a astronomer then the people below should give you inspiration.

List contains people like Judith L. Pipher, Julie Vinter Hansen.

While this isn't a list of all female astronomers, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female astronomers?" and "Who are the best female astronomers?"


Famous Female Astronomers People
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    Henrietta Swan Leavitt was an American astronomer who discovered the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars. A graduate of Radcliffe College, Leavitt started working at the Harvard College Observatory as a "computer" in 1893, examining photographic plates in order to ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 53 (1868-1921)
    • Birthplace: Lancaster, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Human computer, Astronomer
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    Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld was a Dutch astronomer. In a jointly-credited trio with Tom Gehrels and her husband Cornelis Johannes van Houten, she was the discoverer of many thousands of asteroids. Gehrels did a sky survey using the 48-inch Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory and shipped the plates ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 94
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Ruby Violet Payne-Scott, BSc MSc DipEd was an Australian pioneer in radiophysics and radio astronomy, and was the first female radio astronomer. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 69 (1912-1981)
    • Birthplace: Grafton, Australia
    • Profession: Physicist, Astronomer
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    Andrea Mia Ghez is an American astronomer and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA. In 2004, Discover magazine listed Ghez as one of the top 20 scientists in the United States who have shown a high degree of understanding in their respective fields. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Astronomer
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    Eleanor Key Francis "Glo" Helin was an American astronomer. She was principal investigator of the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking program of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She retired in 2002. Helin discovered or co-discovered 872 asteroids, including the first two Aten asteroids: 2062 Aten and 2100 ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 77 (1932-2009)
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Carolyn Jean Spellmann Shoemaker is an American astronomer and is a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. She once held the record for most comets discovered by an individual. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 86
    • Birthplace: Gallup, New Mexico, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer who, in 1847, by using a telescope, discovered a comet which as a result became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet". She won a gold medal prize for her discovery which was presented to her by King Frederick VI of Denmark - this was remarkable for a woman. On the ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 71 (1818-1889)
    • Birthplace: Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Amy Mainzer is an American astronomer, specializing in astrophysical instrumentation and infrared astronomy. She is the Deputy Project Scientist for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and the Principal Investigator for the NEOWISE project to study minor planets and the proposed Near Earth Object ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 41
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Lyudmila Chernykh

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    Lyudmila Ivanovna Chernykh is a Russian, Ukrainian and Soviet astronomer. In 1959 she graduated from Irkutsk State Pedagogical University. Between 1959 and 1963 she worked in the 'Time and Frequency Laboratory' of the All-Union Research Institute of Physico-Technical and Radiotechnical Measurements in ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 80
    • Birthplace: Shuya, Ivanovo Oblast, Russia
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Helen Battles Sawyer Hogg, CC was an astronomer noted for pioneering research into globular clusters and variable stars. She was the first female president of several astronomical organizations and a notable woman of science in a time when many universities would not award scientific degrees to women. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 88 (1905-1993)
    • Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was a British–American astronomer and astrophysicist who, in 1925, proposed in her Ph.D. thesis an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 79 (1900-1979)
    • Birthplace: Wendover, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Annie Jump Cannon was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 78 (1863-1941)
    • Birthplace: Dover, Delaware, United States of America
    • Profession: Human computer, Astronomer
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    Dr. Kimberly A. Weaver is an American astrophysics astronomer and professor. She has worked with NASA on several research projects. She is often seen on many television programs about astronomy. She is an expert in the area of x-ray astronomy. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Morgantown, West Virginia, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Lecturer, Author, Astronomer
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    Lyudmila Zhuravlyova

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    Lyudmila Vasilyevna Zhuravleva is a Soviet, Russian and Ukrainian astronomer. She works at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. Asteroid 26087 Zhuravleva was named in her honour. She also serves as president of the Crimean branch of the "Prince Clarissimus Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, PRSE FRAS is a Northern Irish astrophysicist. As a postgraduate student, she discovered the first radio pulsars while studying and advised by her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, for which Hewish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Ryle, while Bell Burnell ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: Belfast, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Physicist, Professor, Astronomer
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    Charlotte Emma Moore Sitterly was an American astronomer. She won the 1990 Bruce Medal. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 92 (1898-1990)
    • Birthplace: Ercildoun, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Vera Rubin is an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She uncovered the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves. This phenomenon became known as the galaxy rotation problem. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 87
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Astronomer
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    Maura Tombelli is an Italian astronomer who began her training in astronomy as an observer of variable stars. She is a prolific discoverer of asteroids. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: Montelupo Fiorentino, Italy
    • Profession: Astronomer
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    Sandra Moore Faber is a University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and works at the Lick Observatory. She has made important discoveries linking the brightness of galaxies to the speed of stars within them and was the co-discoverer of the ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 71
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Astronomer
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    Tamara Mikhaylovna Smirnova

    Tamara Mikhaylovna Smirnova was a Russian astronomer. From 1966 to 1988 she was a staff member of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy at Leningrad. She co-discovered the periodic comet 74P/Smirnova-Chernykh, along with Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh. She has also discovered over 100 asteroids. The ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 83 (1918-2001)
    • Birthplace: Soviet Union
    • Profession: Astronomer
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