Hoffleit, Dorrit

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1907-03-12
Death 2007-04-09

Biographical notes:

Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit was born in Florence, Alabama, on March 12, 1907. She received a B.A. in mathematics (1928) and a Ph.D. in astronomy (1938) from Radcliffe College; and a D.Sc. from Smith College (1984) and from Central Connecticut State University (1998). Hoffleit was a research assistant at the Harvard College Observatory in 1929 and was hired as an astronomer at Harvard in 1948. In 1943, she joined the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground to compute missile trajectories. Hoffleit left Harvard in 1956 to run Yale University's star cataloging program. She authored the Bright Star Catalogue, containing information on the 9,110 brightest stars, and co-authored the General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes, containing precise distance measurements to 8,112 stars. She retired from Yale in 1975. Hoffleit was also director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory, Nantucket, from 1957 to 1978. In 1988, minor planet 3416 was named "Dorrit"in her honor. Hoffleit died at her New Haven, Connecticut, apartment on April 9, 2007.

From the guide to the E. Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1847-2006, 1945-2000, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit was born in Florence, Alabama, on March 12, 1907. She received a B.A. in mathematics (1928) and a Ph.D. in astronomy (1938) from Radcliffe College; and a D.Sc. from Smith College (1984) and from Central Connecticut State University (1998). Hoffleit was a research assistant at the Harvard College Observatory in 1929 and was hired as an astronomer at Harvard in 1948. In 1943, she jointed the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground to compute missile trajectories. Hoffleit left Harvard in 1956 to run Yale University's star cataloging program. She authored the Bright Star Catalogue, containing information on the 9,110 brightest stars, and co-authored the General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes, containing precise distance measurements to 8,112 stars. She retired from Yale in 1975. Hoffleit was also director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory, Nantucket, from 1957 to 1978. In 1988, minor planet 3416 was named "Dorrit" in her honor. Hoffleit died at her New Haven, Connecticut, apartment on April 9, 2007.

From the description of E. Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1847-2006 (inclusive), 1945-2000 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702193415

Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit was born on March 12, 1907, on her parents' farm in Florence, Alabama. Hoffleit received her B.A. in mathematics from Radcliffe College in 1928 and took graduate classes at Radcliffe while working at the Harvard College Observatory, receiving her M.A. and Ph. D. in astronomy in 1932 and 1938, respectively. In 1943, she joined the Ballistic Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, returning to full-time work at Harvard in 1948. She remained at Harvard until 1956, when she was named director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket, Mass. This was a half-year appointment which continued until 1978. For the remaining six months of each year she worked as a research associate in astronomy at Yale University, running the star cataloging program. In 1964, she edited the Catalogue of Bright Stars, which listed stars visible to the naked eye; she also edited a 1983 supplement. Hoffleit officially retired from Yale in 1975, but even after retirement, she remained active in the field of astronomy, writing papers, frequently on women astronomers, and presenting at conferences. She was considered an expert on variable stars, the history of astronomy, and astrometry. In 1987, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after her, in acknowledgment of her contributions to the field of astronomy.

From the description of Papers, 1906-2005 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122557963

Born 1907.

From the description of Oral history interview with Ellen Dorrit Hoffleit, 1979 August 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84185907

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6r78hmc
Ark ID:
w6r78hmc
SNAC ID:
50873315

Subjects:

  • Astrometry
  • Variable stars
  • Astronomy
  • Stars
  • Astronomical instruments
  • Astronomers
  • Aging
  • Astrophysics
  • Mothers and daughters
  • V-2 rocket
  • Variable stars--Catalogs
  • Women astronomers
  • Older women
  • Astrophysics--History
  • Astronomical observatories--Administration
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Scientists
  • Immigrants' writings, German
  • World War, 1939-1945--Science
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women
  • Women in science
  • Ballistics

Occupations:

  • Astronomers
  • Scientists

Places:

  • Aberdeen Proving Ground (Md.) (as recorded)
  • Nantucket (Mass.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)