Course overview

Join us to take a look at the amazing yet unsung women of astronomy and space who were pioneers but often overlooked or ignored. From ancient times to the modern era it is time to shine a light on their amazing achievements. From Aganice of Thessaly, a Greek astronomer of the 2nd or 1st century BC, Hypatia of Alexandria 370 – 450 AD, Elisabeth Hevelius (17th century), Caroline Herschel (18th Century) to ‘Pickerings Women’ at Harvard and into the modern age of spaceflight with such luminaries as Annie Easley, Katherine Johnson, Astronauts Sally Ride and pioneering Mae Jemison amongst many others.

Course description

This captivating course delves into the remarkable contributions of women in astronomy and space exploration, from ancient times to the modern era.

We begin our journey with Aganice of Thessaly, a Greek astronomer from the 2nd or 1st century BC, whose work laid early foundations for astronomical study. Moving forward, we explore the life and contributions of Hypatia of Alexandria (370 – 450 AD), a mathematician and astronomer whose legacy endures despite the tragic end of her life.

The course then highlights Elisabeth Hevelius of the 17th century, often overshadowed by her husband, yet crucial to their joint astronomical work. The 18th century brought us Caroline Herschel, the first woman to discover a comet and a pivotal figure in her brother William Herschel’s groundbreaking discoveries.

We continue with the extraordinary story of ‘Pickering’s Women’ at Harvard in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a group of female astronomers and mathematicians who made significant contributions to the field under the guidance of Edward Charles Pickering.

In the modern age, we celebrate the achievements of Annie Easley, a computer scientist and mathematician, and Katherine Johnson, whose calculations were critical to the success of early spaceflights. We also honor Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel into space.

Join us to rediscover these unsung heroines and their inspiring legacies.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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