The first American woman astronomer, Maria Mitchell, was born on August 1st in the year 1818. She learned astronomy from her father William Mitchell; as a young girl she helped him in his observatory on Nantucket Island. And on October 1st, 1847 she set up a telescope on her parent’s housetop and discovered a comet. The next year she became the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also served as professor of astronomy at Vassar College from 1865 until a year before her death in 1889. She contributed to the American Nautical Almanac, observed sunspots and solar eclipses, plus the planets and the moon. A crater on the moon is named for her. Maria Mitchell said, “We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.” But she also asked of her students, "Did you learn that from a book or did you observe it yourself?"