Franklin

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

Author/Creator:
Sobel, Dava, author.
Edition:
Unabridged.
Publication:
[New York] : Penguin Audio, [2016]
Format/Description:
Sound recording
10 audio discs (12 hr., 30 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Subjects:
Harvard College Observatory.
Women in astronomy -- Massachusetts -- History.
Women mathematicians -- Massachusetts -- History.
Astronomy -- History -- 19th century.
Astronomy -- History -- 20th century.
Form/Genre:
Audiobooks
System Details:
digital optical
audio file CD audio
Summary:
"In the late 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 consisted of the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges--Vassar, Wellesley, Radcliffe, 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 the stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and even found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish immigrant 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 today; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first woman professor of astronomy at Harvard--and Harvard's first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is 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."--Jacket of hardcover edition.
Contents:
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.
Participant:
Read by Cassandra Campbell.
Notes:
Compact discs.
Local notes:
Athenaeum copy: Miller Fund bookplate.
Contributor:
Campbell, Cassandra, narrator.
ISBN:
073528864X
9780735288645
OCLC:
958293864
Publisher Number:
9780735288645
60c0f3 Blackstone Audiobooks
Loading...
Location Notes Your Loan Policy
Description Status Barcode Your Loan Policy