Best-selling, East Hampton author, Dava Sobel, will discuss her new book, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. This book tells the story of the women who worked at the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. Observatory director, Edward Pickering, hired them because he believed women were careful workers—and would accept lower pay than men. In the course of their labors, the women of “Pickering’s Harem,” otherwise known as the “Harvard Computers,” helped discover the substance of the stars and the distances to them. Thanks to the introduction of photography to astronomy, instead of observing through the telescope by night, the women analyzed the stars in daylight on the 500,000 glass photographic plates that the observatory amassed, and won international acclaim for their many significant discoveries. Dava Sobel will discuss the fascinating story of this group of remarkable women who expanded our knowledge of the universe.
Dava Sobel, an East Hampton resident, is a highly acclaimed, award-winning author. She is a former science reporter for the New York Times and is author of five books, including best-sellers Longitude (on which a NOVA documentary and a four-hour mini-series were based) and The Planets. Ms. Sobel was a 2000 Pulitzer finalist for her book, Galileo's Daughter, which served as the basis for an Emmy Award winning PBS documentary.
This event is free, but donations are appreciated ($10 suggested). As a “thank you” gift, those who attend the lecture and make a contribution to Montauk Observatory of $100 or more (by cash or check) will receive a copy of Ms. Sobel's book, which she will personally autograph.
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