By Lauren Gunderson
When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories.
As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. This imaginative re-telling of Leavitt’s life and achievements explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries and social change. Henrietta Leavitt and her female colleagues believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and the Earth.