December 2018

The Glass Universe
Dava Sobel

Early in the 20th century an ambitious project commenced at the Harvard College Observatory – the study of thousands of glass photographic plates containing telescopic image of the stars, each plate holding secrets just waiting to be discovered. An industrious group of individuals took up the challenge – and they were all women. Dava Sobel, author of Galileo’s Daughter, a book we also have at the Lamplighter Library, describes the valuable contributions to astronomy made by this tenacious team, during a time when women were not yet allowed to vote. There is a Canadian connection here: one of the biographies is of Helen Sawyer. In the 1920s, she became a renowned expert on globular star clusters. Later, she and her husband Frank Hogg moved to Canada to become two of this country’s foremost astronomers. The Glass Universe will be available at the RASC meeting this month!

Mark Zalcik