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  • The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association to Mark the 204th Birthday of Maria Mitchell: America’s First Female Astronomer

    Join the Maria Mitchell Association as it hosts Maria Mitchell’s 204th birthday, August 1st on Vestal Street. Maria Mitchell’s birthday celebration is a free event with astronomy activities, live animal displays, research demonstrations, live period-inspired music by Susan Berman, and free admission to the Maria Mitchell Association Vestal Street Museums! This afternoon of Maria Mitchell themed activities will be held Monday, August 1st from 1pm – 4pm on Vestal Street, with the lower portion of the street closed to traffic.
    The Maria Mitchell Association is named after America’s first female astronomer, Maria Mitchell. She is known for discovering a comet over Nantucket in October 1847. She went on to become the first female professor at Vassar College, where she was an inspiration to her students. She believed in learning by doing and in the capacity of women to achieve what their male counterparts could. “Miss Mitchell” was beloved by her students whom she taught until her retirement, due to failing health, in 1888. She died in 1889 and was buried next to her parents in the family plot at Nantucket’s Prospect Hill Cemetery. 
    The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.


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