Dorothy W. Block Paraskevopoulos

 

Dorothy W. Block Paraskevopoulos (1891-1967) was a Jewish American Astronomer who worked for the Harvard College, Yerkes, and Boyden Station Observatories.

Dorothy came to the Harvard Observatory in 1917 as a Fellow under the Maria Mitchell Memorial Scholarship (later named the Edward C. Pickering Fellowship, then the Charles S. Hinchman Fellowship).1 When Dorothy was here at the observatory, she measured the light of new and variable stars and asteroids, and the intensity of the bright lines in the spectra of some of those variable stars. She also measured light from “the Great New Star which appeared in Aquila on June 8, 1918.”2 She contributed to several works published by the fellows.3

Completing her Fellowship, Dorothy moved to work at the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.4 In 1919, she attended the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan.5 She worked at Yerkes for two years, and married John C. Paraskevopoulos, a Greek astronomer who was there on a fellowship.6 The couple moved back to Greece at the end of his fellowship, and he became the head of the astronomy department for the National Observatory of Athens. In 1923, they moved to Arequipa, Peru when John accepted a position from Dr. Harlow Shapley to become the director of the Harvard Observatory’s Southern Station (Boyden Station Observatory).7 When it was decided that Boyden Station needed to be moved in order to find better weather conditions, Dorothy and her husband set about deciding the location, arranging for its access, and organizing the construction of the building and new road to it.8 The equipment and materials also needed to be shipped from Peru. John served as the director of the new Boyden Observatory beginning in 1927 his retirement in 1951.9,10

Dorothy was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. She graduated from Hunter College in 1915 with honors, and worked there as a laboratory assistant for two years.11 In 1916, she became the treasurer of the Astronomy Club.12

 

Selected Publications:

“American Astronomical Society” American Astronomical Society. Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago. Accessed May 2022. http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf6-04473.xml

Cannon, Annie J., “Astronomical Fellowships for Women”,  Harvard College Observatory Circular, vol. 214, (March 29 1919): 1-2, https://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1919HarCi.214....1C/0000001.000.html

Cannon, Annie J., “Report of the Astronomical Fellowship Committee”, Annual Report of the Maria Mitchell Association, vol. 20 (1922): 14-15, https://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1922MMAAR..20...14C

“Hunter College Athletic Association Elects Officers” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Sun, Nov 5, 1916, Page 50. 

“John Stefanos Paraskevopoulos”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 112, Issue 3 (June 1952): 277–279 https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/112.3.277

“Maria Mitchell Scholarship.” The Vassar Miscellany News. April 14, 1917, Vol. 1 No. 18.

“News about Jews Everywhere” Minneapolis American Jewish World. October 26, 1917, Vol 6 No. 7.

“Notes About Women” Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. May 04, 1917, Page 5.

“Paraskevopoulos, Dorothy Block.” Paraskevopoulos, Dorothy Block . Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago. Accessed May 2022. http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf6-04180.xml.

“Paraskevopoulos, Dorothy Block.” Engagement party of Dorothy W. Block and Dr. John S. Paraskevopoulos. Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago. Accessed May 2022. http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf6-00429.xml

Woods, Ida E., “The Southern Station of the Harvard Observatory,” Harvard College Observatory Bulletin No. 851(October 1927): 1-1 https://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1927BHarO.851Q...1W

Citations:

1- “Maria Mitchell Scholarship.” The Vassar Miscellany News. April 14, 1917, Vol. 1 No. 18.
2-Cannon, Annie J., “Report of the Astronomical Fellowship Committee”, Annual Report of the Maria Mitchell Association, vol. 20 (1922): 14-15
3-Cannon, Annie J., “Astronomical Fellowships for Women”,  Harvard College Observatory Circular, vol. 214, (March 29 1919): 1-2.
4-“Paraskevopoulos, Dorothy Block.” Paraskevopoulos, Dorothy Block . Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago. Accessed May 2022.
5-“American Astronomical Society” American Astronomical Society. Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago. Accessed May 2022.
6-“Paraskevopoulos, Dorothy Block.” Engagement party of Dorothy W. Block and Dr. John S. Paraskevopoulos. Photographic Archive : The University of Chicago. Accessed May 2022.
7-“John Stefanos Paraskevopoulos”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 112, Issue 3 (June 1952): 277–279.
8-Woods, Ida E., “The Southern Station of the Harvard Observatory,” Harvard College Observatory Bulletin No. 851( October 1927): 1-1.
9-Ida E. Woods, “The Southern Station of the Harvard Observatory,” Harvard College Observatory Bulletin No. 851 (October 1927): 1-1.
10-“John Stefanos Paraskevopoulos”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 112, Issue 3 (June 1952): 277–279.
11-“News about Jews Everywhere” Minneapolis American Jewish World. October 26, 1917, Vol 6 No. 7.
12-“Hunter College Athletic Association Elects Officers” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Sun, Nov 5, 1916, Page 50.