Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 2115-2116

Date:

Swope, Henrietta Hill

BornSaint Louis, Missouri, USA, 26 October 1902

DiedPasadena, California, USA, 24 November 1980

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Swope, Henrietta Hill. Courtesy of Katherine Haramundanis

American variable star astronomer Henrietta Swope is remembered for the discovery and period determinations of a very large number of RR Lyrae, Cepheid, and other variables, the later ones on plates taken by Walter Baade.

Swope was the daughter of Gerard Swope (president of General Electric and director of the National Broadcasting Company) and Mary Dayton Hill. She became interested in astronomy while attending lectures by Margaret Harwood at Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket, Massachusetts, and received a BA from Barnard College (Columbia) in 1925 and an MA from Radcliffe College (Harvard) in 1928.

Swope was appointed to an assistantship (partly financed by her father) at Harvard College Observatory in 1928 to continue her work with Harlow Shapley on galactic variable stars. Her work was of great precision; of 35 periods for RR Lyr ...

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