Astronomer Barbie Celebrates International Women’s Day and British Science Week
In celebration of International Women’s Day and British Science Week, toy maker Mattel released a custom Barbie doll that sports a starry dress with a miniature telescope accessory. The doll honors Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who works with the James Webb space telescope.
Ruth Handler, the founder of Mattel, based Barbie’s physical appearance on Bild Lilli, a risque gag doll sold to men in West German tobacco shops. Multispectral images in visible light and UV fluorescence characterization, along with FT-IR ATR analysis of 15 Barbies, enabled the identification of their constituent materials.
Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects and phenomena. This field of study is primarily concerned with objects that originate outside the Earth’s atmosphere, including planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, comets, meteoroids, asteroids, and interplanetary dust. In addition, astronomers study the structure and evolution of the Universe as a whole. This is different from astrology, which deals with the beliefs that certain constellations influence human events (for example, when you look up your star sign in a magazine).
Professional astronomy can be split into two branches: observational and theoretical. Observational astronomers gather data through the use of telescopes and other instruments. This data is then analyzed using basic principles of physics to create theoretical models. These models can be tested by observing celestial objects, which either confirm or refute them.
Astronomers have been wowed by what’s believed to be the largest and brightest cosmic event ever seen. It’s 10 times brighter than a supernova, the death of a massive star, and three times as powerful as a tidal disruption event, when a black hole rips apart a star. The discovery is so impressive that researchers dubbed it “Scary Barbie” (ZTF20abrbeie).
Leading global toy company Mattel has gifted British astronomer Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock with a one-off doll in her likeness in celebration of International Women’s Day and British Science Week. The custom Barbie wears a starry dress and has a miniature telescope accessory that’s a nod to her work on the James Webb Space Telescope.
Play and explore the night sky with this astronomer Barbie micro-doll. Kids can use her telescope to locate a favorite star or planet, or explore outer space with her globe and star map. Encourage young minds to dream big with this Barbie career set that helps children learn about the world, nature and science.
In celebration of International Women’s Day and British Science Week, Mattel is introducing seven one-of-a-kind Barbie Role Model dolls to honor real-life female trailblazers in STEM. The custom astronomer Barbie, who will not be on sale to the public, features Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a UK space scientist and presenter of BBC’s The Sky at Night. She is dressed in a starry dress and has a telescope accessory that pays homage to her work with the James Webb Space Telescope. Other role models include YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, German marine microbiologist Antje Boetius, Mexican electrical engineer Katya Echazarret, and Chinese founder of ETU Education Yinuo Li.
The new Barbie astronaut comes with a white spacesuit decorated with pockets, wires, and monitors in blue and pink. She also has a white space helmet, gloves, and shoes. The astronaut doll is a nod to the 60th anniversary of Barbie.
Mattel recently partnered with National Geographic to make a series of Barbies based on careers in science occupations where women are underrepresented. The astrophysicist Barbie wears a professional outfit with themed accessories that include a swiveling telescope.
The line also includes polar marine biologist, wildlife conservationist, and entomologist Barbies. The company hopes the dolls will inspire girls to broaden their career aspirations. However, research suggests that dolls like these may actually inhibit girls’ aspirations by promoting unrealistic body image ideals.