As I ambled through Caledon Downs the other day, I stopped suddenly. Where Old Fort St. Edmunds used to be was...nothing. Well, the fort was old. Still, one can only wonder what will rise in its place.
I peered closer. Was that an observatory on the hill?
Indeed it was - the Maria Mitchell Observatory, owned by Miss Nocti Heliosense, and named after a female astronomer . As the notecard says,
" Maria Mitchell, 1818 - 1889
Taught by her astronomer father, Maria Mitchell was the first professional woman astronomer in the United States and became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College (1865-1888). She was the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1848), and was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Using a telescope, she discovered "Miss Mitchell's Comet" (Comet 1847 VI, modern designation is C/1847 T1) in the autumn of 1847. Some years previously, King Frederick VI of Denmark had established gold medal prizes to each discoverer of a "telescopic comet" (too faint to be seen with the naked eye). The prize was to be awarded to the "first discoverer" of each such comet (note that comets are often independently discovered by more than one person). She duly won one of these prizes, and this gave her worldwide fame, since the only previous woman to discover a comet had been Caroline Herschel.
She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement. She refused to wear cotton because of its connection with slavery in the South, a commitment she continued after the Civil War ended. She also supported women's rights efforts and traveled in Europe."
The smaller telescope seems perfect for keeping tabs on neighbors.