The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2007 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, F. Jamil Ragep, JoAnn Palmeri, Marvin Bolt

Maury, Antonia Caetana de Paiva Pereira

  • Virginia Trimble
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30400-7_916

BornCold Springs, New York, USA, 21 March 1866

DiedHastings‐on‐Hudson, New York, USA, 8 January 1952

American spectroscopist Antonia Maury discovered a way of recognizing supergiant stars from their spectra, even when their distances could not be measured. She was the granddaughter of John William Draper , the first person to photograph the Moon, the niece of Henry Draper , another keen amateur astronomer, and the daughter of Mytton and Virginia (née Draper) Maury. Her father, an Episcopalian priest, edited volumes in natural history; a sister became a paleontologist and a cousin an oceanographer. Maury was taught largely by her father and uncle, going on to Vassar College, New York, where she was one of the last students of Maria Mitchell , and received a BA in 1887.

In 1888, Maury was employed by Edward Pickeringat Harvard College Observatory as part of a program to determine the spectral types of stars. The program was funded by a memorial contribution from Henry Draper's...

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Selected References

  1. Gingerich, Owen (1974). “Maury, Antonia Caetana de Paiva Pereira.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie, Vol. 9, pp. 194–195. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.Google Scholar
  2. Hoffleit, Dorrit (1952). “Antonia C. Maury.” Sky & Telescope 11, no. 5: 106.Google Scholar
  3. ——— (2002). “Pioneering Women in the Spectral Classification of Stars.” Physics in Perspective 4: 370–398.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia Trimble

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