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3.83 (241 ratings by Goodreads)
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Henrietta Levitt was the first person to discover the scientific importance of a star's brightness--so why has no one heard of her? Learn all about a female pioneer of astronomy in this picture book biography. Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born on July 4, 1868, and she changed the course of astronomy when she was just twenty-five years old. Henrietta spent years measuring star positions and sizes from photographs taken by the telescope at the Harvard College Observatory, where she worked. After Henrietta observed that certain stars had a fixed pattern to their changes, her discovery made it possible for astronomers to measure greater and greater distances--leading to our present understanding of the vast size of the universe. An astronomer of her time called Henrietta Leavitt "one of the most important women ever to touch astronomy," and another close associate said she had the "best mind at the Harvard Observatory." Henrietta Leaveitt's story will inspire young women and aspiring scientists of all kinds and includes additional information about the solar system and astronomy.show more

Product details

  • 6-8
  • Hardback | 32 pages
  • 220.98 x 281.94 x 12.7mm | 453.59g
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 1416958193
  • 9781416958192
  • 64,124

Review quote

Burleigh introduces Henrietta Leavitt, a nineteenth-century woman determined to study astronomy at a time when "almost all astronomy teachers and students were men." Although she graduated from college and secured a job in an observatory, Leavitt was confined to working with a group of other women doing calculations of star positions in photographs taken by male colleagues. Careful observations, however, led Leavitt to discover minute changes in the apparent brightness of certain stars over time, which in turn led to methods of determining how far a star is from Earth. This is a useful overview of a lesser-known scientific contributor, and Burleigh as usual writes with smooth clarity. ... A collection of end matter includes quotes about the stars, brief notes about Leavitt's life and discoveries and about other early female astronomers, a glossary, and a compact list of websites and titles for more exploration.show more

Rating details

241 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 20% (47)
4 48% (115)
3 30% (72)
2 2% (6)
1 0% (1)
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