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Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

1900 - 1979

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Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (born Cecilia Helena Payne; (1900-05-10)May 10, 1900 – (1979-12-07)December 7, 1979) was a British-born American astronomer and astrophysicist who proposed in her 1925 doctoral thesis that stars were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium. Her groundbreaking conclusion was initially rejected because it contradicted the scientific wisdom of the time, which held that there were no significant elemental differences between the Sun and Earth. Independent observations eventually proved she was correct. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin has received more than 949,216 page views. Her biography is available in 46 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 43 in 2019). Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is the 107th most popular astronomer (down from 90th in 2019), the 1,064th most popular biography from United Kingdom (down from 870th in 2019) and the 15th most popular British Astronomer.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is most famous for being the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University. Her dissertation was on the composition of the stars, and she was able to show that they were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.

Memorability Metrics

  • 950k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 58.59

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 46

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 4.42

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.27

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkins by language


Among astronomers, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin ranks 107 out of 531Before her are Mary Somerville, Reinhard Genzel, Frank Drake, Edward Charles Pickering, George Biddell Airy, and Ernst Öpik. After her are Carolyn S. Shoemaker, Heinrich Schwabe, Arthur Auwers, Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf, E. M. Antoniadi, and Édouard Stephan.

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Among people born in 1900, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin ranks 68Before her are Mária Telkes, Franz Walter Stahlecker, Ignazio Silone, Agnes Moorehead, Pridi Banomyong, and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. After her are Filipp Golikov, Carmen Polo, 1st Lady of Meirás, Jiro Miyake, Alfred Newman, Joseph Needham, and Wilhelm Rediess. Among people deceased in 1979, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin ranks 53Before her are Mamie Eisenhower, Conrad Hilton, Teruo Nakamura, Konstantin Simonov, Dhyan Chand, and Dimitri Tiomkin. After her are Charles Mingus, Yuen Siu-tien, Alfredo Ottaviani, Rudi Dutschke, Charles W. Morris, and Ali Hassan Salameh.

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin ranks 1,064 out of 7,765Before her are James Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie (1812), John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718), Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia (1945), Frank Oz (1944), Geoffrey Wilkinson (1921), and Roy Hodgson (1947). After her are Ross Brawn (1954), Michael Nyman (1944), Alice Bailey (1880), Henry Royce (1863), PJ Harvey (1969), and A. J. Ayer (1910).

Among ASTRONOMERS In United Kingdom

Among astronomers born in United Kingdom, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin ranks 15Before her are William Lassell (1799), Stephen Gray (1666), Antony Hewish (1924), William Huggins (1824), Mary Somerville (1780), and George Biddell Airy (1801). After her are Jeremiah Horrocks (1618), Adelard of Bath (1075), William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800), John Russell Hind (1823), Williamina Fleming (1857), and N. R. Pogson (1829).