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Author Sobel, Dava, author.

Title The glass universe : how the ladies of the Harvard Observatory took the measure of the stars / Dava Sobel.

Publication Info. New York, New York : Viking, [2016]


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  522.197444 So12g 2016    ---  Available
 Eureka Non-Fiction  522.1974 Sob    ---  Available
 Parsons Non-Fiction  522.1 S677    ---  Available
1 copy being processed for Axe Acquisitions Order.
Description xii, 324 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 299-305) and index.
Contents Mrs. Draper's intent -- What Miss Maury saw -- Miss Bruce's largesse -- Stella nova -- Bailey's picture from Peru -- Mrs. Fleming's title -- Pickering's "harem" -- Lingua franca -- Miss Leavitt's relationship -- The Pickering fellows -- 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.
Summary In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or "human computers," to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon 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 from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The "glass universe" of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades -- through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in 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, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard -- and Harvard's first female department chair.
Source B&T 02.2017 PARS
Subject Bailey, Solon I. (Solon Irving), 1854-
Cannon, Annie Jump, 1863-1941.
Draper, Mary Anna, 1839-1914.
Fleming, Williamina P., 1857-1911.
Leavitt, Henrietta Swan, 1868-1921.
Maury, Antonia C., 1866-1952.
Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia, 1900-1979.
Pickering, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1846-1919.
Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972.
Harvard College Observatory.
Women in astronomy -- Massachusetts -- History.
Women astronomers -- Biography.
Women mathematicians -- Massachusetts -- History.
Astronomy -- History -- 19th century.
Astronomy -- History -- 20th century.
Astronomy -- History -- 19th century.
Astronomy -- History -- 20th century.
Harvard College Observatory.
Women in astronomy -- Massachusetts -- History.
Women mathematicians -- Massachusetts -- History.
Astronomy -- History.
Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972 (OCoLC)fst00007259
Pickering, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1846-1919 (OCoLC)fst00199996
Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia, 1900-1979 (OCoLC)fst00035973
Maury, Antonia C., 1866-1952 (OCoLC)fst01959175
Leavitt, Henrietta Swan, 1868-1921 (OCoLC)fst01604108
Fleming, Williamina P., 1857-1911 (OCoLC)fst01957442
Cannon, Annie Jump, 1863-1941 (OCoLC)fst01661459
Bailey, Solon I. (Solon Irving), 1854- (OCoLC)fst01806271
Harvard College Observatory. (OCoLC)fst00541468
Women mathematicians. (OCoLC)fst01178130
Women in astronomy. (OCoLC)fst01177831
Women astronomers. (OCoLC)fst01177176
Astronomy. (OCoLC)fst00819673
Massachusetts. (OCoLC)fst01204307
Chronological Term 1800-1999
Genre/Form Biography. (OCoLC)fst01423686
Biographies. (OCoLC)fst01919896
History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
ISBN 9780670016952 (hardcover)
0670016950 (hardcover)
9780698148697 (ebook)
069814869X (ebook)

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