[ Cambridge: Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College, 1914]. First edition. This article was published in 1914 but is often misdated because it was later reissued featuring a title-page dated 1916. The article is complete. With two halftone spectrogram plates: “Spectra of Classes P and Q” and “Spectra of Novae.”. Some foxing to front of wrappers at spine and a bit of foxing in the lower corners of the last three pages. A very good, clean copy of a scarce article by a central member of the Harvard Computers and one of the most important figures in the development of modern astronomy. Original wrappers, sewn. Folio. pp. , 20-42. Item #16779
“Spectra Having Bright Lines” records the stellar spectra data that allows astronomers to determine astronomical distances by how analyzing how bright a star appears from Earth. The data is organized according to the Harvard System, a stellar classification scheme that was developed by Annie Jump Cannon (1863 – 1941) and has been the standard for the International Astronomical Union since 1922. Cannon developed her system from previous innovations by fellow Harvard Computers Antonia Maury and Williamina Fleming. Other notable Harvard Computers were astronomers like Florence Cushman and Henrietta Swan Leavitt.
During her lifetime, Cannon manually classified about 350,000 stars and discovered five novas, a binary star system, and hundreds of variable stars. One of her most significant classification projects was her Second Catalogue of Variable Stars, which featured 25,000 stars she personally catalogued. She was also a suffragist, a member of the National Women’s Party, and the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate of science from Oxford University.