Dover Mayor Robin R. Christiansen, in conjunction with Friends of Old Dover, is encouraging students to submit entries to the inaugural Mayor’s Essay Contest celebrating the life and work of Dover resident and astronomer Annie Jump Cannon.

Classifying more than 200,000 stars while she worked at Harvard, Cannon became known as the “census taker of the sky,” and her classification system is used in the astronomy field today.

Cannon and her associates are the subjects of the book, “The Glass Universe” by Dava Sobel. Sobel will visit Dover in December to help celebrate Cannon's birthday. This is a chance for essay contest participants to meet Sobel and learn more about Cannon. Teachers are encouraged to make this a class assignment and schedule a visit to Cannon’s house on State Street. Three winners will receive an award, and participants will receive a certificate from Christiansen.

Contest info is available at

For guidelines and more, email or