From #maidlife to #astronomerlife, single mother Williamina Fleming devoted her life to studying and discovering stars and other space phenomena. Her achievements, including mentoring other female astronomers, led her to becoming Harvard College Observatory’s first Curator of Astronomical Photographs in 1898, a position held by women to this day.

Hear from author Dava Sobel, National Geographic Explorer and astronomer Munazza Alam, and former observatory curator Lindsay Smith Zrull, on the impact Williamina Fleming’s work had on generations of women in astronomy.

The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, funded Explorer Munazza Alam's work. Learn more about the Society’s support of Explorers.

Read This Next

U.S. nuclear testing's devastating legacy lingers 30 years later
An astonishing—and accidental—Ice Age cave discovery
The first Black Marines tell their stories—before it's too late

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet