From discovering pulsars to correcting the optics of the fuzzy Hubble Space Telescope, here are 17 stories of women who made undeniably vital contributions to astronomy and physics.

The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics put together a gallery of pioneering women in physics, writing:

They discovered pulsars, found the first evidence of dark matter, pioneered mathematics, radioactivity, nuclear fission, elasticity, and computer programming, and have even stopped light.

Perimeter celebrates women who made pioneering contributions to physics, often overcoming tremendous challenges to do so.

Some of these stories will be familiar to you, their contributions a regular staple of science classes, while others will likely be new names you haven't encountered before.

Image credits: the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics


For yet more stories celebrating women in science, try these articles on currently-living Canadian scientists, the group of women hired by Edward Charles Pickering who figured out Cepheid variation, the women employed by NASA in the 1940s crunch numbers, one of the earliest palaeontologists and fossil-hunters, the first woman to go to space, and the woman who repaired Skylab's damaged sunshield. Want to keep up the celebration year-round? Here's the list of women that I follow for my daily dose of science.