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Miss Leavitt's Stars

Miss Leavitt's Stars Cover

Miss Leavitt's Stars

The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe

By George Johnson

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393051285, 176pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2005

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Description
Almost forgotten is the Harvard Observatory "computer"--a human number cruncher hired to calculate the positions and luminosities of stars in astronomical photographs--who found the key to the mystery. Radcliffe-educated Henrietta Swan Leavitt, fighting ill health and progressive deafness, stumbled upon a new law that allowed astronomers to use variable stars--those whose brightness rhythmically changes--as a cosmic yardstick.Miss Leavitt's Stars is both a masterly account of how we measure the universe and the moving story of a neglected genius.
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