Katherine Johnson, a trail-blazing mathematician, overcame racial and gender discrimination to become a kay part of Nasa’s space exploration programme. Her calculations, made with a slide rule and pencil, were critical to the missions which sent Apollo 11 to land on the moon and afterwards to see Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk and return to Earth. Her story was told in the 2016 Hollywood film “Hidden Figures.” She has just died at 101.
She was born 26 August 1918 in West Virginia with a farmer/lumberjack father and a teacher mother, was fascinated by numbers from an early age, and excelled at school and then college, despite the restrictions placed on African-American education.
What’s fascinating about her chart is partly the confidence and determination it exudes with a Virgo Sun on the focal point of a trine from Pluto Jupiter trine Mars in Scorpio. But also the prominence of her Neptune in Leo. It is conjunct her Venus and perhaps on the focal point of a T Square of Mars opposition Moon. Her Saturn in Leo also sat exactly on her Sun/Neptune midpoint.
Her super-star 22nd harmonic has an exceptionally notable Neptune.
Neptune is surprisingly often prominent in genius-level mathematicians’ charts, which isn’t quite what you’d expect. Mary Cartwright, a Brit pure mathematician, an expert on chaos theory, 17 Dec 1900, was a Sun Jupiter in Sagittarius opposition Neptune and Pluto. Andrew Wiles, 11 April 1953, who solved Fermat’s Theorem is a Sun Venus in Aries opposition Neptune Saturn. He has two Yods – of Mercury in Pisces sextile Jupiter in Taurus onto Neptune Saturn – and Pluto sextile Neptune Saturn inconjunct Mercury. So heavily Neptunian/Piscean. Leonhard Euler, 15 April 1707, was a Sun Neptune in Aries trine Pluto Jupiter in Leo. Bernard Riemann, 17 Sept 1826, was a Sun Jupiter Mercury in Virgo with Mercury trine/sextile a Neptune opposition Saturn.