Talk:Annie Jump Cannon

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Source for mnemonic?[edit]

I've usually seen "Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me" credited to Russell, not Cannon herself. Is there a source for the assertion that Cannon invented this mnemonic? SarahLawrence Scott (talk) 20:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Even more interesting would be what the letters represented, in the spectrum. For example, was 'O' for Oxygen? I don't think so. What spectral information did "O B A F G K M" really represent? -- AstroU (talk) 19:06, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Also, if not for tempurature, then what would make her arrange them in that order? (talk) 23:52, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

25 cents a day?[edit]

Most other web sources suggest the starting pay when female Harvard computers were first hired was 25 cents and up. As the titles of the most talented computers tended to evolve (for example, Leavitt eventually became "Director of photometry") their pay would certainly have gone up as well. Also pay rates would have risen over time. So I'm skeptical of the claim in the article that "at this time the women doing this groundbreaking work at the Harvard Observatory were paid 25 cents a day." At a minimum, this claim needs a good source. I'd change it, but I myself don't have a good source for the actual salaries at that time. SarahLawrence Scott (talk) 20:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Most other sources list the wages as 25-30 center per *hour* not per day. For example, in the biography "Miss Leavitt's Stars" by George Johnson, it states that Henrietta Leavitt was offered a job at a rate of 30 cents per hour, which was 5 cents more than the usual rate (page 32). So I think the correct wage for Annie Cannon must be 25 cents per hour. I will proceed to fix this. Aberlind (talk) 14:34, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

To put this into perspective, a 40-hour week at $0.25/hr comes to $10/week. That was a livable wage circa 1900, roughly equal to $290 today. Considering that people often worked more than 40hrs/week back then, the ladies at Harvard made a comfortable living. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Reference or source for hearing loss[edit]

I read most of AJC's diaries and letters at the Harvard Archive in spring 2012 and could find no evidence of hearing loss resulting from cold weather during AJC's under-graduate study at Wellesley. She makes several references to audible experiences right through her 20's. In fact, she never mentions her own hearing loss at all, as far as I could discover. A post-humous letter of remembrance by a colleague from her postgraduate time at Wellesley/Radcliffe talks about her hearing degrading badly at that time, so in her early 30's. Can anyone shed more light on this? What, if any, is the evidence for hearing loss, or serious illness during AJC's undergrad studies? I also read her travel journal for her 1892 trip round Europe. This does not appear to have been linked particularly to a solar eclipse. She did photograph the transit of Venus in 1882, in America. The solar eclipse of 1892 would not have been visible from Spain, according to the NASA site. Grange (talk) 06:51, 22 August 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Captainmoll (talkcontribs)

In the "Sisters of the Sun" episode of the "Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey" TV show they say she lost her hearing during a bout of Scarlet Fever when she was a young woman. Sam Tomato (talk) 16:39, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Eclipse in 1892?[edit]

  • "She had made a trip to Europe in 1892 to photograph the solar eclipse"

As noted in above talk there was no Eclipse in Europe in 1892, see List of solar eclipses in the 19th century. There was the Solar eclipse of April 16, 1893 that went into Africa (partial in Spain). I am assuming this is a mistake added to the article in 2004[1] and has since been copied into all the other articles (and even the book) that mentions it. Her school bio at does not mention any eclipse. Noaccountaccount (talk) 01:50, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Additional: This claim shows up in an obit in the Harvard College Observatory (Reprints, Volumes 201-250) (1941?) "Cannon.... trip... observe an eclipse of the sun in Spain in 1892"[2]. Cannon did travel and travel to eclipses (1923 keeps coming up). Spain / total eclipse of the Sun (18 July 1860) / stellar classification all link up up in a connection: Angelo Secchi, he developed a system previous to Cannon's[3]. Maybe the two facts got mixed up in the obit? Noaccountaccount (talk) 17:07, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
The "Solar Eclipse" claim keeps getting restored [4]. There was no eclipse in Europe during her summer 1892 trip so a reference to an 1893 eclipse does not verify anything (not to mention its WP:SYNTH). Also stuff just seems to be made up, you don't take eclipse pictures with a box camera. According to User:Captainmoll above primary sources (Cannon's travel journals) do not mention any eclipse. I think the eclipse story is a mistake in her 1941 obit. Noaccountaccount (talk) 22:48, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

never complained, did what she was told, gained respect[edit]

It seems unverifiable that she never complained (unless this is a reference to formal complaints - in this case the language should reflect that). The stated link between her never complaining and doing what she was told leading to universal respect would also be difficult to prove. (talk) 09:02, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

True (what you say), but true (what is written, given the culture of the day.) It is appropriate in the article, in my opinion. -- AstroU (talk) 12:27, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

The women in Astronomy ![edit]

The women in astronomy were amazing! And they met together for some of their work. We watched COSMOS the National Geographic TV series and learned of their amazing collaborative work. Is this mentioned? -- AstroU (talk) 12:30, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

For 67 days, you can see the rerun of "Sisters of the Sun" Season: 1 Episode: 8 at [5] -- AstroU (talk) 21:43, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Very interesting! Thanks for the link. -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 17:55, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey[edit]

She was mentioned in the "Sisters of the Sun" episode of the Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey show. One of the things they said is that she cataloged more than a quarter of a million stars. Sam Tomato (talk) 16:35, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Rather, half a million stars, as the article currently says: "Cannon's determination and hard work paid off. She classified more stars in a lifetime than anyone else, with a total of around 500,000 stars. She also discovered 300 variable stars, five novas, and one spectroscopic binary, creating a bibliography that included about 200,000 references" -- AstroU (talk) 23:13, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Highlight of the Google start screen today[edit]

Everyone's browser today, going into a Google-search, displays a scripted 'Google' logo in front of stars, and when you click to animate, comes to this Wikipedia page. Very nice! It celebrates her 151st birthday (today). Annie Jump Cannon was one of the greatest modern-day astronomers! I was born rather close to the time she passed over, and that shows how close we are to pioneer heritage. Thank You, Google screen creators. -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 14:15, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Google people did a great job and it is the first I've seen the start up Google screen go to a Wikipedia page. -- AstroU (talk) 23:16, 11 December 2014 (UTC)


From what I find (I could be way off.) Her mother had 3 children with Wilson Cannon, Annie the eldest and two sons. Annie also had several half sisters, and at least one half brother. Start here.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 11 December 2014 (UTC)


There are number of works by her that could be listed in a bibliography. A bunch might be online since anything pre-1923 should be in the public domain.

Peaceray (talk) 23:53, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Annie Jump Cannon bibliography[edit]

Now that I have started Annie Jump Cannon's bibliography, I have realized that she wrote too much to be effectively be contained within the article. At this point, I plan to add most of those available on line to the Bibliographic section, but then to eventually convert it to its own article. Annie Jump Cannon was prolific. Perhaps because she was deaf, she then may have communicated more via writing.

In addition to the online & offline star inventories, Cannon also wrote a number of biographies or obituaries. Although they are cataloged in Worldcat, none of them are listed as online. However, a number of them appear to be articles, & may be available in the online archives of the journals in which they appear.

After I add a sufficient number of citations to the bibliography, I will copy them into a Draft:Annie Jump Cannon bibliography so other editors as well as myself may work on expanding it as well. I invite interested editors to contact me to coordinate.

Peaceray (talk) 19:08, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

I have started Draft:Annie Jump Cannon bibliography. Right now, what is in Annie Jump Cannon#bibliography is only the online works from the Annals of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College. She has over twice that listed in WorldCat. Peaceray (talk) 06:41, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I've removed the request as I'd declined the draft. The problem here is that so far the draft doesn't establish where her bibliography is extensive enough to warrant a separate article. The general expectation is that scientific persons of note will have published a wide variety of works, some of which have frequently been republished, so Wikipedia tends to not list every article they've written. Sometimes Wikipedia even tends to not list all of an author's books (ie, works of over 150 pages in length) if the author has a good many of them and there isn't enough justification to list every book. You can see an example of how this is typically set up for scientific persons at Stanley Salmons's article, where they only list the papers that have the most amount of peer citations. The basic gist of things is that I don't really see where we could justify including every obituary she ever wrote or every article, since that could be seen as too indiscriminate for Wikipedia's purposes. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 05:29, 14 June 2016 (UTC)