Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals

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Author: Maria Mitchell
Language: English
Wordcount: 80,923 / 235 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 61
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 342
mnybks.net#: 7760
Origin: gutenberg.org
Excerpt

en to that study in this country. His evenings, when pleasant, were spent in observing the heavens, and to the children, accustomed to seeing such observations going on, the important study in the world seemed to be astronomy. One by one, as they became old enough, they were drafted into the service of counting seconds by the chronometer, during the observations.

Some of them took an interest in the thing itself, and others considered it rather stupid work, but they all drank in so much of this atmosphere, that if any one had asked a little child in this family, "Who was the greatest man that ever lived?" the answer would have come promptly, "Herschel."

Maria very early learned the use of the sextant. The chronometers of all the whale ships were brought to Mr. Mitchell, on their return from a voyage, to be "rated," as it was called. For this purpose he used the sextant, and the observations were made in the little back yard of the Vestal-street home.

There was also a clumsy reflecting telescope made

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