“A short, excellent account of [Leavitt’s] extraordinary life and achievements.”―Simon Singh, New York Times Book ReviewAt the beginning of the twentieth century, scientists argued over the size of the universe: was it, as the astronomer Harlow Shapley argued, the size of the Milky Way, or was there more truth to Edwin Hubble’s claim that our own galaxy is just one among billions?
The answer to the controversy―a “yardstick” suitable for measuring the cosmos―was discovered by Henrietta Swan Leavitt, who was employed by the Harvard Observatory as a number cruncher, at a wage not dissimilar from that of workers in the nearby textile mills. Miss Leavitt’s Stars uncovers her neglected history, and brings a fascinating and turbulent period of astronomical history to life.
About: Recounts the story of Radcliffe-educated Henrietta Swan Leavitt, who in the face of ill health and progressing hearing loss discovered a new law that enabled astronomers to use variable stars in order to measure the universe.
About: Recounts the story of Radcliffe-educated Henrietta Swan Leavitt, who in the face of ill health and progressive hearing loss discovered a new law that enabled astronomers to use variable stars in order to measure the universe, a finding that solved a key scientific mystery and enabled important breakthroughs.
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