eBook PDF / e-Pub The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

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Title:The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars
Format Type:Ebook
Author:Dava Sobel
Publisher:eBooks
ISBN:0670016950
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:
Category:Science, Non fiction, History, Biography, Astronomy, Feminism, Womens

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars i New York Times i bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with the captivating little known true story of a group of women whose remarkable contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe b .

In the mid nineteenth century the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators or human computers to interpret the observations made via telescope by their male counterparts each night At the outset this group included the wives sisters and daughters of the resident astronomers but by the s the female corps included graduates of the new women s colleges Vassar Wellesley and Smith As photography transformed the practice of astronomy the ladies turned to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates The glass universe of half a million plates that Harvard amassed in this period thanks in part to the early financial support of another woman Mrs Anna Draper whose late husband pioneered the technique of stellar photography enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim They helped discern what stars were made of divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight .

Their ranks included Williamina Fleming a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars Annie Jump Cannon who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use and Dr Cecilia Helena Payne Gaposchkin who in became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard and Harvard s first female department chair .

Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters diaries and memoirs i The Glass Universe i is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women who through their hard work and groundbreaking discoveries disproved the commonly held belief that the gentler sex had little to contribute to human knowledge

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