Today August 1, 2013 if you live outside the USA you might have missed the Google Doodle about Maria Mitchell. Maria Mitchell is being honored today on Google.com USA celebrating 195 years after she was born, she was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts USA on August 1, 1818 and died on the 28th of June 1889 at the age of 70 in Lynn, Massachusetts.
According to Wikipedia, Maria Mitchell was an American Astronomer, who in 1847 discovered the comet “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”. The discovery was initially credited to Francesco de Vico. Vico, observing from Rome, was the first to report the comet’s discovery in Europe. Mitchell observed the comet two days before Vico did, so she became recognized as the comet’s discoverer. The Miss Michell’s Comet was formally named the C/1847 T1 Comet.
Using an ordinary telescope she discovered the comet. Some years previously, King Frederick VI of Denmark had established gold medal prizes to each discoverer of a “telescopic comet” (too faint to be seen with the naked eye). The prize was to be awarded to the “first discoverer” of a comet she did win one of these prizes, and this gave her worldwide fame, since the only previous woman to discover a comet had been Caroline Herschel.
Maria Mitchell Google Doodle
The Maria Mitchell Google Doodle looks very busy, in the doodle there is a lady sitting ontop of a roof, looking at the start, presumably this is Maria Mitchell searching the stars for a comet. The Doodle is well designed, and represents the age and time well at which Maria Mitchell discovered the comet. Today with all the technology available to astronomers, it is hard to think that anyone would ever again discover a comet, using only an ordinary telescope!