Carol Jo Crannell


Thanks to Iolanthe Good, daughter of Annalisa Crannell and granddaughter of Carol Jo Crannell, all featured above!

My grandmother (Carol Jo Crannell, known to me as ‘Nana’) was a Phi Beta Kappa physics major at Miami University in the late 1950’s.  She went from there to Stanford University, where she got a PhD in physics (she also got married and had a child, my mother, who went on to become a mathematician).

Nana moved to Maryland, where she took a job at Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA.  She worked as a solar astrophysicist, building payloads that carried detectors that measured solar gamma rays.  As part of her studies, she predicted the existence of an 15.11 MeV Gamma-ray line.  See


Her payloads often flew on high altitude balloons; this photo shows me at age 2 with Nana next to the gondola carrying her detector.  On the right, you can see the truck laying out and filling up the 1000-foot ballon that will carry the payload.  Later in her career, her detectors flew on rockets — so yes, my grandmother WAS a rocket scientist!

P.S. I love the 3-generation picture you have of us in your header!

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1 Response to Carol Jo Crannell

  1. Pingback: Evelyn J Lamb | Celebrating the Grandmothers of STEM

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