Essay about Annie Jump Cannon

Essay about Annie Jump Cannon

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Quiet Heroes of Science

For my first Extension I have chosen to research about a woman named Annie Jump Cannon. She was a renowned astronomer who lived from 1863-1941. She was a true pioneer for women everywhere and greatly contributed to the field of astronomy. This is an essay about her accomplishments as a Quiet Hero of Science.

Annie Jump Cannon was born in Dover Delaware on December 11, 1863. As a young child and throughout her life she was not able to hear as well as other people. Despite this, she led a relatively normal life. She discovered her interest in astronomy at a very young age when her mother taught her the constellations. She pursued these interests at Wellesley College where she studied physics, astronomy, and even how to make spectroscopic measurements. After graduating from Wellesley, she returned home. Also, unknown to most, she was an expert in the new field of photography. She loved to travel so she went to Spain with her new box camera and took pictures. Later, when she returned home, she put all of her photos into an album. This was then published and titled “In the Footsteps of Columbus.”

By this time you might be a little confused. “Isn’t this paper supposed to be about an Astronomer and not a photographer.” Well, you are correct. I was just giving some background information. Any ways, by this time Annie was beginning to grow unsatisfied with the way her life was turning out. She had started off wanting to be an astronomer but instead she was being recognized as a photographer. So after her mother died in 1894, Annie returned to Wellesley as an assistant to the physics department and became a special student of astronomy at Radcliffe. In 1896 she was part of America’s first x-ray experimen...


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... is “Responding with Wonderment and Awe.” I say this because I cannot imagine why a person would spend their entire life devoted to recording the data of stars inless they truly love their proffession. This means that Annie must have really enjoyed recording stars. If she did not enjoyed recording data from stars, she would have surely quit long before her proffession took off.
What impressed me about this particular scientist was her sheer dedication to her field of study. I mean, she was only getting paid 50 cents an hour to do gruelling mind work. That is just mind boggling to me. Also, it is truly amazing how many awards she won and things she accomplished during her lifetime. Especially since she was working at a time when women were considered a minority. Overall, this was just a truly amazing woman and I am glad I had the opportunity to research about her.

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