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On this date: Annie Jump Cannon was born

Annie Jump Cannon was born Dec. 11, 1863. The deaf astronomer was also a suffragist.

New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper via Wikimedia Commons

Cannon lost most of her hearing in childhood, which has been attributed to scarlet fever.

The valedictorian of her class at Wellesley College, she became an astronomer at the Harvard College Observatory. She worked with another prominent deaf astronomer: Henrietta Swan Leavitt. Despite getting paid at half the rate paid to men doing similar work, she is credited with cataloging 350,000 stars. She played an important role in the creation of a system ranking stars from hottest to coolest. Not only did she support other women becoming scientists and having the right to vote, in 1925 she became the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Oxford University. Despite her hearing loss, Cannon travel Europe developing her skill as a photographer. Harvard finally gave her a permanent faculty position after 40 years of work. She died three years later at the age of 77 in 1941.

Cannon was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1994. A decade later she was honored with a Google Doodle. The lunar crater called Cannon and the asteroid called Cannonia are named in her honor.

Read more about this remarkable women here and here.

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