Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DMC: "A Star Among Stars" by Tabatha Yeatts


Cecilia Payne
had a wonderfilled brain.
She ascertained the element
hydrogen was prevalent.

© 2015 Tabatha Yeatts. All rights reserved.

Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin, Smithsonian Institution Archives

From Tabatha:
In 1925, Cecilia Payne explained in her astronomy Ph.D. thesis how to figure out what chemical elements stars are made of by decoding the spectra of starlight.

Read more about her here:

Kwame Alexander has challenged us to write a clerihew this month. What's a clerihew, you ask? Click HERE for details.

Send your funny four-liner to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, April 24th. One lucky participant will win an autographed copy of THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.


  1. There are many who never graced our history books, aren't there? Lovely to see a poem written about this scientist, Tabatha. Cecilia Payne/now I know her name!

  2. Love this, Tabatha!

    I love "wonderfilled brain," your element/prevalent couplet, and the fact that you chose an important (though lesser known) woman scientist to write about. I think I've told you that my husband is an astronomer, but I'm guessing you didn't know that this is exactly his area of expertise– he looks at the chemical composition of star forming regions. :) He was thrilled to see you chose Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin as your subject and offers his expertise for any future astronomical clerihews. ;)

  3. Tabatha - well done, and of course you'd come up with something/someone brilliant to write about.

    Michelle - that's kind of romantic! Wishing you two many more years of happy stargazing.

  4. I love this. I never knew about her. How awful. My daughter will know of her. Thank you.

  5. I loved the play between "ascertained" and "brain." Hooray for women scientists!

  6. Lovely. Wonderfilled brain is a terrific turn of phrase. I like this one a lot!