March 14, 2007
Astronomer and science historian Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Yale University. A native of Florence, Hoffleit was the author of more than 600 published works on topics such as variable stars, meteors, spectroscopy and rocketry. She earned her Ph.D. from Radcliffe College, worked at Harvard and Yale Universities, and authored the “Bright Star Catalogue,” a compilation of research on the 9,110 brightest stars in the sky. Hoffleit also served as director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket Island, and became an important mentor for generations of astronomers, particularly young women. Hoffleit received numerous awards — including the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award — and was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. An asteroid was named in her honor.
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