Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit (March 12, 1907 – April 9, 2007) was an American senior research astronomer at Yale University.
Hoffleit was born in Florence, Alabama and her interest in astronomy started with the 1919 Perseid meteor shower that she saw with her mother. She earned her Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College in 1938 after receiving a B.A. there as well in 1928. Starting as a research assistant at the Harvard College Observatory in 1929, she was hired as an astronomer at Harvard in 1948. She remained there until moving to Yale in 1956, staying until her 1975 retirement. In her final years at Yale, Hoffleit was tasked with teaching the most basic course on Astronomy to Undergraduates. Her passionate lectures in Davies Hall, usually with over 100 students, inspired and awed them. She thus engendered a lifelong interest in Astronomy to young men and women, many of whom were simply satisfying a prerequisite to their undergraduate degrees.
At Yale she was preceded by Ida Barney
She was the author of the Bright Star Catalogue, a compendium of information on the 9,110 brightest stars in the sky; she also co-authored The General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes, containing precise distance measurements to 8,112 stars, information critical to understanding the kinematics of the Milky Way galaxy and the evolution of the solar neighborhood. In 1988, Hoffleit was awarded the George Van Biesbroeck Prize by the American Astronomical Society for a lifetime of service to astronomy. She turned 100 on March 12, 2007, and died a month later from complications of cancer.
With Harlan J. Smith, Hoffleit discovered the optical variability of the first-discovered quasar 3C 273.
Hoffleit was for some time director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket Island as described in her autobiography.
See also 
- ^ AAVSO: In Memoriam
- ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). "Doritt E. Hoffleit". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer Publishing). ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. (subscription required)
- ^ Pearce, Jeremy (April 23, 2007). "Obituary: E. Dorrit Hoffleit, Scientist, Dies at 100". New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- ^ Hoffleit, E. Dorrit (June 1990), "Ida M. Barney, Ace Astrometrist" (PDF), STATUS: The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (American Astronomical Society), retrieved 17 November 2012
- ^ "Dorrit Hoffleit (1907 - 2007)". AAS Newsletter. May/June 2007
- ^ Smith, H. J., & Hoffleit, D. (1963). "Light Variations in the Superluminous Radio Galaxy 3C273". Nature 198 (4881): 650. doi:10.1038/198650a0.
- ^ Dorrit Hoffleit. MISFORTUNES AS BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE: The Story of My Life. American Association of Variable Star Observers. ISBN 1-878174-48-7.
Further reading 
External links