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Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin – History of Scientific Women

Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin (née Payne; May 10, 1900 – December 7, 1979) was a British-born American astronomer and astrophysicist who proposed in her 1925 doctoral thesis that stars were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.

Her groundbreaking conclusion was initially rejected because it contradicted the scientific wisdom of the time, which held that there were no significant elemental differences between the Sun and Earth. Independent observations eventually proved she was correct. Her work on the nature of variable stars, carried out with her husband, Sergei Gaposchkin, were foundational to modern astrophysics. Wikipedia

Main achievements: Explanation of spectra of Sun. More than 3,000,000 observations of variable stars.

Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was a British–American astronomer and astrophysicist who, in 1925, proposed in her Ph.D. thesis an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium. FOR MORE

science, women science, womens history

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