Milky Way Galaxy Research Paper

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In our Milky Way galaxy, there are over a hundred billion stars, and within the universe there are billions of galaxies (Classifying Stars). Astronomers have always come up with different techniques to make their jobs easier. One important technique in, not only astronomy but science itself, is trying to classify something into groups to find a certain pattern. Since there are so many stars in a single galaxy, astronomers must find methods for organization. Stars are not all the same, they vary in size, temperature, and brightness. To keep track of all these different characteristics, astronomers had to come up with a diagram. The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is one of the most useful plots for stellar astronomy (Classifying Stars). The diagram …show more content…

Harvard was a man’s place in 1901 with women seen as a lesser comparison to men. At the time these women astronomers were trying to map and classify the types of stars. Annie was important to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, because she was the key to understanding the substance of the stars. She led of a group of women, which catalogued a quarter of a million stars. The true distinction among stars was discovered by Annie and her team with the use of prisms. Annie and her team would allow light from a star to fall through a prism placed in a telescope. This prism would then split the light into a band showing its component colors. These component colors are red rays on one end, and violet rays on the other end. Using this spectrum of a star, Annie began to classify stars using their different spectral lines. This took Annie decades to classify the spectral characteristics of 100,000 different stars according to the scheme she came up with. …show more content…

Her paper had to be approved by the director, Harlow Shapley. Harlow sent her thesis to Henry Norris Russell, who at the time was the dean of American Astronomers, and Harlow’s mentor. Cecilia respected and feared Russell, because of his position and power. After reading her thesis, Russell at first found Cecilia’s findings to be accurate. However, five weeks later he wrote Cecilia saying, “there remains one very much more serious discrepancy... It is clearly impossible that hydrogen should be a million times more abundant than the metals.” (Bartusiak p.34). Despite the quality of her research she believed what Russell had said to her and changed her thesis. After Russell found out that Cecilia was right all along, many astronomers described her work as the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy (Bartusiak p.34). Cecilia Payne’s interpretation of Annie Jump Cannon’s classification system made it possible to read the life stories of the

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