The Ohio State University Department of Astronomy’s first all-women graduate class – Anusha Pai (from left), Ness Mayker, Caprice Phillips, and Alison Duck – will speak March 20 at Perkins Observatory. (Photo courtesy of Ness Mayker)

‘Women in Astronomy’

Perkins Observatory’s Diversity Series Continues March 20

By Cole Hatcher

Note: This event has been canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments. For more information, visit our COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information page.

DELAWARE, Ohio – Perkins Observatory will celebrate Women’s History Month with a presentation by four astronomical achievers – the first all-women graduate class in the history of The Ohio State University’s Department of Astronomy.

The women, all first-year graduate students, will speak at 8 p.m. March 20 at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory, 3199 Columbus Pike (U.S. 23), Delaware.

Their presentation, “Women in Astronomy Through the Years,” will take listeners on a journey through time to explore the many contributions of women to the field. The event is part of the observatory’s new diversity series.

The four women presenting at the event are:

  • Anusha Pai of Beaverton, Oregon. Pai graduated from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in physics. At Ohio State, she is working to characterize hot Jupiter atmospheres.
  • Ness Mayker of Columbus, Ohio. Mayker majored in physics and astronomy as an undergraduate at Ohio State. She currently is studying the properties of gas in galaxies in the Department of Astronomy.
  • Caprice Phillips of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Phillips graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in astronomy. At Ohio State, she is studying Super-Earth atmospheres.
  • Alison Duck of Salisbury, Maryland. Duck graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. At Ohio State, she is studying exoplanet transit modeling.

Reservations are strongly recommended for this and all Perkins Observatory events, as many programs sell out. Advance tickets are $10 and $2 more if purchased at the door. To reserve tickets or determine at-the-door availability, call (740) 363-1257.

Following the diversity series talks, guests will be invited to observe with telescopes weather permitting. This may include using the 32-inch Schottland Telescope and telescopes provided by Columbus Astronomical Society volunteers.

Founded in 1923, Perkins Observatory is an active research facility used by Ohio Wesleyan students and faculty. “The Place for Space” also conducts hundreds of public programs and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year. Learn more at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at