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Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming


1857 - 1911

Astronomer. Born in Dundee, Fleming emigrated for the USA, arriving in Boston in 1878. She secured a post as housekeeper to Edward Pickering, Director of the Harvard College Observatory. However, despite her limited schooling, Pickering encouraged her to work in the Observatory, where she proved her efficiency and skill. Working with Pickering, she compiled a catalogue classifying stars by the spectrum of the light they give out and in the process discovered more new variable stars and novae than any single astronomer previously. She went on to catalogue a huge collection of astronomical photographs.


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