Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: The unsung discoverer of star chemistry

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who discovered that hydrogen dominates our universe, finally gets the recognition she deserves in a rich biography, What Stars Are Made Of

Space 1 April 2020
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ONE of the lesser known consequences of the current wave of feminism is the number of women that have been added to the scientific and technological canon.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is the latest. What Stars Are Made Of, a biography by Donovan Moore, highlights the British astronomer and astrophysicist’s contribution in overturning a basic assumption about the make-up of the universe.

In the 1920s, Payne-Gaposchkin analysed the spectral pattern of stars, a plot of the amount of light given off at …

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