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In regard to the color of stars

Jersey_monarchJersey June Monarch / June 2013

“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.”

~ astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889; in 1847, using a telescope, she discovered a comet which became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet")

From her diary:
“Feb. 19, 1853. I am just learning to notice the different colors of the stars, and already begin to have a new enjoyment. Betelgeuse is strikingly red, while Rigel is yellow. There is something of the same pleasure in noticing the hues that there is in looking at a collection of precious stones, or at a flower-garden in autumn. Blue stars I do not yet see, and but little lilac except through the telescope.”

“Feb. 12, 1855…. I swept around for comets about an hour, and then I amused myself with noticing the varieties of color. I wonder that I have so long been insensible to this charm in the skies, the tints of the different stars are so delicate in their variety. … What a pity that some of our manufacturers shouldn't be able to steal the secret of dyestuffs from the stars, and astonish the feminine taste by new brilliancy in fashion.”

(Source: MARIA MITCHELL: LIFE, LETTERS, AND JOURNALS, Compiled By PHEBE MITCHELL KENDALL)

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