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Good Reads  Reference  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy

Miss Leavitt's Stars The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe

Biography / Memoir
By: George Johnson(Author)
162 pages, 10 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Miss Leavitt's Stars
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  • Miss Leavitt's Stars ISBN: 9780393328561 Paperback Jul 2006 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 months
  • Miss Leavitt's Stars ISBN: 9780393051285 Hardback Jun 2005 Out of Print #161064
Selected version: £11.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

At 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.

Customer Reviews


George Johnson, an award-winning The New York Times science reporter, is the author of several books, most recently A Shortcut Through Time and Strange Beauty.

Biography / Memoir
By: George Johnson(Author)
162 pages, 10 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Media reviews

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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