Google Doodle celebrates: Mary Somerville

Mark Wood 2

Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Mary Somerville Scots scientist. Somerville helped revolutionize our knowledge of the solar system, and she was a massive advocate of equal rights of women. Mary Somerville was an astronomer, mathematician, and geographer.

Mary Somerville

Today is the day when Royal Society (world’s oldest scientific academy) had read one of her papers. 

The Google UK Twitter account said that in honouring her legacy with others, he hopes he can help inspire other women, big thinkers, and scientists.

Who was Mary Somerville?

She was born on 26 December 1780 in Scotland and spent her early years helping her mother with chores at home. At the age of 10, she went to boarding school in Musselburgh for a proper education. 

There she taught mathematics and astronomy. Her book “The Connection of Physical Sciences” became one of the best science books of the 19th century. That revealed the links between different disciplines of physical science. 

The inventor of the kaleidoscope, Sir David Brewster, said that she had been the most extraordinary woman in Europe. Her book “The Mechanism of the Heavens” has revolutionized the way we think about the solar system. 

 Her accurate studies of the solar system unveiled there may be another planet next to Uranus. She was right and it was Neptune.

She became the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society after joining with Caroline Herschel. 

Mary Somerville

Institute of Physics of the UK introduced the Mary Somerville Prize and Medal in 2016, for scientists who engage the people through their work. 

The Google Doodle temporarily changes its homepage’s logo to mark extraordinary achievements, events, or people. 

It has also honoured the musician BB King, French sculptor Camille Claudel and Nobel Prize winner Bertha von Suttner. 

She married twice, once with her cousin Lietenany Samual Greig (who died in 1807). Then again with another cousin Dr William Somerville(who died in 1860). She had two sons and three daughters — one son from the first marriage. And one son and three daughters from the second marriage. 

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