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Category: astronomy
  • Maria Mitchell became famous worldwide after becoming the first American to discover a comet.

    Maria Mitchell (second from left) and her students at the Vassar College Observatory measuring the Sun’s rotation from the movement of sunspots.

    At the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, the world's first women's rights convention, illustrious suffragists and feminists like Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton took time to honor a groundbreaking scientist: Maria Mitchell, who had just become the first American and third woman in history to discover a comet! Mitchell would go on to become America's first professional female astronomer, and she used her newfound fame to advocate for scientific education for girls and women. "Does anyone suppose that any woman in all the ages has had a fair chance to show what she could do in science?" she asked. "Until able women have given their lives to investigation, it is idle to discuss the question of their capacity for original work." Or, as she wrote more pointedly in one of her journals, "better to be peering in the spectrograph than on the pattern of a dress." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of space-themed toys and books for all ages!

    With this week's 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, many Mighty Girls are dreaming about the stars! From mapping the skies as pioneers of astronomical science to walking in space on shuttle missions, women have made countless contributions to humanity's exploration of space. To encourage kids' interest in space, and introduce them to these trailblazers, in the first part of this blog post, we've featured a variety of books for children, teens, and adults about ground-breaking women of space exploration. In the second part, we've showcased our favorite space-oriented science kits so kids can learn more about space and pretend play toys so they can imagine themselves flying into outer space. After all, the sky is no limit to the dreams of Mighty Girls! Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books, toys, and gear to inspire young astronomers -- and introduce them to the women who helped us understand the stars.

    On August 21, people across North America will get the chance to witness a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event: a solar eclipse! It's the first total eclipse in the continental US since 1979, and for central US states, the first total eclipse since 1918. Even for those not in the zone of totality, partial eclipses will be visible in many places. So it's no wonder that there is so much excitement brewing — and with it, a surge of interest in astronomy and all things space!

    If the upcoming eclipse has your kids clamoring to learn more about astronomy, this is the perfect time to pursue their interest — and to share stories of the little-known women who have made enormous contributions to the field. In this blog post, we're providing a selection of books to talk about the eclipse itself and gear to view the eclipse safely,  as well as a variety of toys and science kits to support an interest in astronomy, and books about female astronomers throughout history. It's a great way to show kids of all ages that the sky doesn't have to be the limit! Continue reading Continue reading

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