Elizabeth Roemer

Dr. Elizabeth "Pat" Roemer was one of the most accomplished astronomers and comet researchers of the mid-twentieth century. She recovered over seventy comets in her lifetime, and at the age of twenty-one, she proved that Polaris, i.e. the North Star, is not the largest star. Dr. Roemer made important strides as an astronomer, but she also faced many challenges as a woman in a very male-dominated field. She was not taken seriously by many of her male colleagues and struggled to receive equal pay for the important work that she did. Despite these obstacles, Dr. Roemer was able to make a lasting legacy for herself as a comet expert, and is still highly regarded in the field of astronomy today. 

"Elizabeth Roemer: Comet Notes" is both a celebration of a prolific comet expert and an inside look into the personal experiences of a female astronomer in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. This exhibit will highlight Dr. Roemer's contributions to astronomy, including her work on Polaris and the comets that she recovered. You will interact with photos, diary entries, mathematical computations, and many other artifacts from her life and career. As you follow Dr. Roemer's story, you will also learn about the process of comet recovery and how her work still contributes to the field in important ways.