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Talking Up Stars

On August 1, 1905, Helen Battles Sawyer Hogg, CC was born. A childhood sighting of Halley’s Comet thrilled her and ignited her fascination with astronomy. Later, astronomer Annie Jump Cannon’s visit during college cemented Hogg’s decision to stick with astronomy and turned into her joining Cannon’s investigations of star clusters at Harvard. With her doctorate in hand, Hogg worked alongside her astronomer husband in Victoria, BC as his volunteer assistant but continued her own work on variable stars in globular clusters. When they moved to Ontario, Hogg became an assistant at the David Dunlop Observatory and also taught astronomy at the University of Toronto.

She communicated her passion and technical expertise at every level in print, in person, on radio, television, and on the conference and public speaking circuit. Hogg produced over 200 publications for her academic peers, a 30-year weekly astronomy newspaper column, “With the Stars” for the Toronto Star, and a popular book of astronomy, The Stars Belong to Everyone

Dr. Hogg spent over 60 years sharing her love for and knowledge of astronomy. She became the first woman president of the physical sciences section, Royal Society of Canada, first female president of the Royal Canadian Institute, and the founding president of the Canadian Astronomical Society. She was named Companion, then Officer of the Order of Canada. Fittingly named in her honour are an asteroid and the Helen Sawyer Hogg Observatory, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa and the Helen Sawyer Hogg Telescope (HSHT) located at Leoncito Astronomical Complex.

Passionate astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg, CC, pioneer globular clusters investigator.
Passionate astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg, CC, pioneer globular clusters investigator.

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage