The Glass Universe

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143111345
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, Nature, and NPR's Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award "A joy to read." --The Wall Street Journal 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. 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.

The Glass Universe

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 069814869X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy "A joy to read.” —The Wall Street Journal Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, Nature, and NPR's Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award 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. 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.

The Glass Universe The Hidden History of the Women Who Took the Measure of the Stars

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 0007548192
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
‘A biographical orrery – intricate, complex and fascinating’ The Observer ‘A peerless intellectual biography. The Glass Universe shines and twinkles as brightly as the stars themselves’ The Economist #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with a captivating, little-known true story of women in science

A More Perfect Heaven

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802778933
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations, while compiling in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish. In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe. In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day. As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the bounds of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement, and of the ever-present tensions between science and faith.

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

Author: George Johnson
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN: 0393328562
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
“A short, excellent account of [Leavitt’s] extraordinary life and achievements.”—Simon Singh, New York Times Book Review 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.

Longitude

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802779434
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The scientific establishment of Europe-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.

The Glass Universe

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Tales from the Goose Creek B&B
ISBN: 9781410495716
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
#1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with the captivating, little-known true story of a group of women whose remarkable contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or human computers, to interpret the observations made via telescope by their male counterparts each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but by the 1880s 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 to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The glass universe of half a million plates that Harvard amassed in this period thanks in part to the early financial support of another woman, Mrs. Anna Draper, whose late husband pioneered the technique of 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-Gaposchkin, who in 1956 became the first ever 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 a group of remarkable women who, through their hard work and groundbreaking discoveries, disproved the commonly held belief that the gentler sex had little to contribute to human knowledge."

The Planets

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0142001163
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Explores the creation and evolution of the solar system's planets through a lens of popular culture, drawing on sources from astrology, science fiction, the fine arts, and other genres to chronicle planetary history in an accessible format.

And the Sun Stood Still

Author: Dava Sobel
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 080277802X
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Using her deep knowledge, her skills as a storyteller, and her imagination, Dava Sobel illuminates one of history's most significant and far-reaching meetings. In the spring of 1539, a young German mathematician--Georg Joachim Rheticus--journeyed hundreds of miles to northern Poland to meet the legendary, elderly cleric and reluctant astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Some two decades earlier, Copernicus had floated the mind-boggling theory that the Sun, not the Earth, was stationary at the center of the universe, and he was rumored to have crafted a book that could prove it. Though exactly what happened between them can never be known, Rheticus shepherded Copernicus's great work into production and De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ultimately changed the course of human understanding. Dava Sobel imagines their dramatic encounter, and with wit and erudition gives them personality. Through clever and dramatic dialogue, she brings alive the months Rheticus and Copernicus spent together--the one a heretical Lutheran, the other a free-thinking Catholic--and in the process illuminates the historic tension between science and religion. An introduction by Dava Sobel will set the stage, putting the scenes in historical context, and an afterword will describe what happened after Copernicus's book was published detailing the impact it had on science and on civilization.

Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin

Author: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521483902
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Scientific and personal autobiography of the greatest woman astronomer of all time. The most famous graduate from Newnham College.