Henrietta Swan Leavitt

Do you want to
know more?
Click here
Henrietta Swan Leavitt

An Eclipsed Star

Astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born in Massachusetts in 1868 and, after graduating, she worked as a “computer” at Harvard College Observatory. Her job was to observe the photographic plates of stars and make laborious mechanical calculations.

Although it was an underrated task, her enthusiasm never waned. She studied Cepheid variable stars, which twinkled, enabling her to calculate their size and distance from our planet. Later Edwin Hubble used this method for his research on the Andromeda galaxy.

Henrietta became deaf due to illness and died of cancer at fifty-one. One of the craters on the Moon is named in honour of all deaf astronomers.