Everyday Telescope: One of the few astronomical objects named after a woman

Zoom in / Jones Nebula 1.

Michal Mlinarczyk

Welcome to Daily Telescope. There is too little darkness in this world and not enough light, too little pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let the other posts provide your daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’ll take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe full of stars and wonders.

Good morning. It’s December 12, and today’s photo comes to us from Michal Mlynarczyk in the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland. The subject of Michel’s image is the beautiful Jones 1 Nebula.

This faint nebula was found in 1941 by an American astronomer named Rebecca “Becky” Jones using photographic plates. Its name, Jones 1, is noteworthy because relatively few astronomical objects have been named after women, and this is the first of its kind. Jones began her career as an assistant to other “prominent” astronomers of the time, including Harlow Shapley and Wallace Eckert.

Jones must have been a talented assistant because she worked at a few world-class facilities, including the Lick Observatory starting in 1927, the Harvard Observatory with Shapley, and later the Watson Scientific Laboratory in New York City. The best information I can find about Jones, who remains somewhat of a mystery even on the Internet today, is from the Wayback Machine Archived page From Columbia University.

Its relative obscurity is a reminder that this planetary nebula, located about 2,300 light-years from Earth, will outlive us all, as well as any remaining memories we have.

source: Michal Mlinarczyk

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