She Was A Brilliant Astronomer Who Discovered That Hydrogen Is The Most Abundant Element In Our Universe And Debunked The Theory That Stars Are Made Up Of The Same Elemental Components As Earth

Photo 154617035 © Sarawoot Sumalee - - illustrative purposes only

If you’re a fan of astronomy or have a great appreciation for the stars in the sky, you should know who Cecilia Payne is. Thanks to Cecilia, we know what stars are made out of.

Cecilia was one of the most brilliant astronomers of her time and taught the world what stars were composed of and the importance of hydrogen in her 1925 Ph.D. thesis.

Cecilia was born in Wendover, England, in 1900. She was interested in science at a young age, and her mother enrolled her in St Paul’s School for Girls in London to learn more about the subject.

In 1919, she received a scholarship for Newnham College at the University of Cambridge, where she wanted to continue studying science, but she was unsure what kind.

Then, that same year, Cecilia attended a lecture by astronomer Arthur Eddington, who talked about his experience observing that year’s solar eclipse. Fascinated by the lecture, she realized she wanted to study physics.

Later, at an event at the Cambridge Observatory, she introduced herself to Arthur and told him about her desire to become an astronomer.

He gave her access to the observatory’s library, full of astronomical journals and texts she hadn’t read yet.

Unfortunately, Cecilia realized that as a woman trying to advance her science career, England was not the best place to be, as the country was still quite behind in the times.

She decided to move to America in 1923, where she could start working as a graduate student research fellow at the Harvard College Observatory.

Photo 154617035 © Sarawoot Sumalee – – illustrative purposes only

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