Maria became the first professional woman astronomer in the United States, and made several important steps to advance the role of women in astronomy.
In 1848, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences voted her in as their first female member.
In 1850, she was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 1865, Maria became professor of astronomy at Vassar College. She was named as Director of the Vassar College Observatory, where she was granted permission to use the 12 inch telescope, the third largest in America at that time.
Maria became the first women to be elected to the American Philosophical Society, in 1869.
Maria Mitchell became a much loved and respected educator, and she participated in innovative and exciting projects with her students.
In 1882, they documented Venus traversing the sun, one of the rarest planetary alignments known to man.