By: George Johnson
240 pages, 10 illus
At the beginning of the twentieth century scientists argued over the size of the universe. The answer to the controversy 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 story, and brings a fascinating and turbulent period of astronomical history to life.
George Johnson is a prominent science writer with the NEW YORK TIMES and is the author of STRANGE BEAUTY (Knopf) a biography of the physicist Murray Gell-Mann.
Illuminating... [This book] honors the memory of the lowly observatory assistant - no, make that astronomer - who taught us how to get from here to the farthest there there is. The New York Times "A short, excellent account of [Leavitt's] extraordinary life and achievements." The New York Times Book Review"
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