[ Cambridge: Published by the Observatory, 1913. First edition. Some light dampstaining to front wrapper along spine. Inconspicuous embossed labels of Pomona College to front wrapper and title-page. Lower wrapper lost. Spine somewhat creased and chipped. A bit of light foxing to fore-edge. A very good, clean copy of an important work by the Harvard Computers member who discovered the minor planet 886 Washingtonia. Original light blue printed paper wrappers. Quarto. [vi], 205 pp. Item #16782
Margaret Harwood (1885 – 1979) was the first director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory; a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society; and a member of the Harvard Computers alongside important woman astronomers like Annie J. Cannon, Antonia Maury, Williamina Fleming, Florence Cushman, and Henrietta Swan Leavitt. Harwood specialized in photometry, a technique used to measure the varying light of stars and planets, and focused particularly on the minor planet 433 Eros. The present work documents the photometric data from 14,000 stars that Harwood analyzed. She was also the first woman to gain access to Mount Wilson Observatory, the largest observatory at the time, and the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford. One of Harwood’s most notable discoveries was that of 886 Washingtonia, a minor planet orbiting the sun, though Harwood was denied credit for the discovery because it was believed to be inappropriate for women to be in the scientific spotlight. Harwood became the director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory in 1916, about a year before her discovery of 886 Washingtonia, and remained in her position until her retirement in 1957. She was the first woman to serve as the director of an independent astronomical observatory. In 1960, a trio of Dutch astronomers discovered an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter and named it 7040 Harwood in recognition of her considerable contribution to the field of astronomy.
The Linda Hall Library website. “Scientist of the Day: Margaret Harwood.” March 19, 2020.