1863 - 1941

Stellar classification

The physicist and astronomer Annie Jump Cannon is remembered by her classification of stars based on their temperature and spectral characteristics, the Harvard Classification Scheme.

She worked in the Harvard College Observatory as a ‘human computer’, together with other inspiring women, like Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Antonia Maury, and Florence Cushman.

She classified ca. 350,000 stars manually, and she gained so much practice an expertise that she could classify up to three stars per minute.

She received several awards for her achievements. She was the first woman officer of the American Astronomical Society.

Written by: Enriqueta Vallejo-Yagüe.