August 17 ~  Live Forever Sweeper in the Sky

"Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow." ~ Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell : A Life in Journals and Letters

The first U.S. woman professor of astronomy, Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Self-taught and raised a Quaker, Mitchell celebrated the universe and the world around her.

"We especially need imagination in science. Question everything," she explained and was an inspiration for education and discovery.

On a clear night in October 1847, while looking through her father's four-inch telescope, she discovered Comet Mitchell 1847VI. As the first American to record a comet sighting, she received a gold medal by the King of Denmark and immediate international recognition.

A mentor to young women seeking careers in science and technology, she once said, "Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned--not to see what is not."

She was the first woman admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848. A professor of astronomy at Vassar for over 20 years (1865-1888), Mitchell had a moon crater named for her.

"Do not look at stars as bright spots only," she urged. "Try to take in the vastness of the universe."

celebrate all the passionate colors of lifeLive each moment!