Browse Projects

23% Complete

159 Total Pages 8 Contributing Members

Project PHaEDRA - Cecilia H. Payne #05

At Harvard College Observatory (now the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), women computers studied glass plate photographs of the night sky. Here they catalogued stars, identifying variables, interpreting stellar spectra, counting galaxies, and measuring the vast distances in space. Several of them made game-changing discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. In these books, follow the early work of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who discovered that stars, and the whole universe, were made abundantly of hydrogen -- a discovery that earned her the first PhD in Astronomy from Harvard. Interested in historical women? Love astronomy? Help us transcribe the work of the Harvard Observatory's women computers and see which stars shine the brightest.