Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell
Maria Mitchell
  • Born: August 1, 1818
  • Died: June 28, 1889
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Scientist









Maria Mitchell [pronounced "mə-RYE-ə"] 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. On the medal was inscribed "Non Frustra Signorum Obitus Speculamur et Ortus" in Latin (taken from Georgics by Virgil (Book I, line 257) (English: "Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising [of the stars]"). Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer.

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Question everything! Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
A young sailor boy came to see me today. It pleases me to have these lads seek me on their return from their first voyage, and tell me how much they have learned about navigation.
Altogether, St. Louis is a growing place, and the West has a large hand and a strong grasp.
As a general rule, people disappoint you as you know them.
Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.
Every formula which expresses a law of nature is a hymn of praise to God. Nature ;Religion & God
I am always the better for open-air breathing, and was certainly meant for the wandering life of the Indian. Life
I am just learning to notice the different colors of the stars, and already begin to have a new enjoyment. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I am just through with a summer, and a summer is to me always a trying ordeal.
I had, early in life, a love for staging, but it is fast dying out. Nine hours over a rough road are enough to root out the most passionate love of that kind. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I have just gone over my comet computations again, and it is humiliating to perceive how very little more I know than I did seven years ago when I first did this kind of work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I have never been in any country where they did not do something better than we do it, think some thoughts better than we think, catch some inspiration from heights above our own.
I have worn myself thin trying to find out about this comet, and I know very little now in the matter.
I made observations for three hours last night, and am almost ill today from fatigue; still I have worked all day, trying to reduce the places, and mean to work hard again tonight. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I saw, in looking over Cooper, elements of a comet of 1825 which resemble what I get out for this, from my own observations, but I cannot rely upon my own.
I was a little doubtful about the propriety of going to the Mammoth Cave without a gentleman escort, but if two ladies travel alone they must have the courage of men. Travel
I was born, for instance, incapable of appreciating music. Music, Chants & Rapps
I would as soon put a girl alone into a closet to meditate as give her only the society of her needle. Society
It is sad to see a woman sacrificing the ties of the affections even to do good.
People have to learn sometimes not only how much the heart, but how much the head, can bear.
Question everything.
Small aids to individuals, large aid to masses.
Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow.
That knowledge which is popular is not scientific. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The best that can be said of my life so far is that it has been industrious, and the best that can be said of me is that I have not pretended to what I was not. Life
The greatest object in educating is to give a right habit of study.
The love of one's own sex is precious, for it is neither provoked by vanity nor retained by flattery; it is genuine and sincere. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The Southern character is opposed to haste. Safety is of more worth than speed, and there is no hurry.
The world of learning is so broad, and the human soul is so limited in power! Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. Happiness & Unhappiness
To read a book, to think it over, and to write out notes is a useful exercise; a book which will not repay some hard thought is not worth publishing.
We especially need imagination in science. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Literature, Writers & Writing
We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
We travel to learn; and I have never been in any country where they did not do something better than we do it, think some thoughts better than we think, catch some inspiration from heights above our own. Travel
Yesterday I had a Shaker visitor, and today a Catholic; and the more I see and hear, the less do I care about church doctrines.

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