‘A Universe of Stories’ Orbits Dava Sobel


In honor of this year’s summer reading theme, “A Universe of Stories,” award-winning author Dava Sobel will discuss her book, “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars,” on Saturday, June 22, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the East Hampton Library, located at 159 Main Street.

“The Glass Universe” tells the story of Williamina Fleming, Antonia Maury, Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Leavitt and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin — the most accomplished of the many women who worked at the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s.

Although originally hired as calculators, or “human computers,” to augment the telescope observations their male counterparts made each night, they became astronomers in their own right. Images of the heavens captured on glass photographic plates — the “glass universe” of the title — enabled these women to discover new celestial objects, derive the nature of the stars, and develop a means for measuring distances across space that is still in use today.

For more information, call (631) 324-0222 or visit easthamptonlibrary.org.