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The glass universe : hidden history of the women who took the measure of the stars / Dava Sobel.

By: Publisher: London : 4th Estate, [2016]Copyright date: ©2016Description: xii, 324 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cmContent type:
  • text
  • still image
Media type:
  • unmediated
Carrier type:
  • volume
  • 9780008207038 (paperback)
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • 522/.19744409252 23
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First published in the United States by Viking Books in 2016.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Part one: The colors of starlight. Mrs. Draper's intent ; What Miss Maury saw ; Miss Bruce's largesse ; Stella nova ; Bailey's picture from Peru -- Part two: Oh, be a fine girl, kiss me!. Mrs. Fleming's title ; Pickering's "harem" ; Lingua franca ; Miss Leavitt's relationship ; The Pickering fellows -- Part three: In the depths above. Shapley's "kilo-girl" hours ; Miss Payne's thesis ; The Observatory Pinafore ; Miss Cannon's prize ; The lifetimes of stars -- Some highlights in the history of the Harvard College Observatory -- A catalogue of Harvard astronomers, assistants, and associates.

The little-known true story of the unexpected and remarkable contributions to astronomy made by a group of women working in the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s.--

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as "human computers" to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography, enabled the women to discern what stars were made of, divide the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and find a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Sobel tells the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.

Item type Current library Call number Status Notes Date due Barcode
Book Book SMSA Library Non-fiction 522 SOBE Available March 2017 66127

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