Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How Women Mapped The Universe And Brought America To The Moon

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At Harvard Observatory in the late 1800s, the hum of over a dozen computers buzzed from the busy astronomy calculation room. Devising complex calculations to map the stars, the computers worked in skirts and corsets, gripping their pencils at thick wooden desks. These computers were not the sort we think of today, but were teams of people using arithmetic to transform raw observational data into a useable form.

Harvard's female computers, sitting in a small room with floral wallpaper, surrounded by stacks of papers and star charts, not only advanced the field of astronomy, but created new systems to study the stars that are still used today.

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