Silent Sky tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, the astronomer ahead of her time. It is 1900, and Henrietta has the opportunity to work at Harvard University as a human computer, one of Dr. Edward Pickering’s “harem,” mapping the stars but receiving no scientific credit. When Henrietta arrives, she is eager to use Harvard’s telescope - the Great Refractor - but is told that she will not be able to do any sort of astronomical discovery as she will only log the stars photographed by the men of the department. However, Henrietta will not be dissuaded, and begins the process of recording the changes in Cepheid stars - a scientific discovery that has profound and lasting impact on the field of astronomy. During her inquiry, Henrietta’s relationships strain under her obsessive work ethic; her sister Margaret, her love interest Peter Shaw, and her colleagues Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming all find themselves pushed aside in favor of a great cosmic mystery. Silent Sky is the poignant tale of a woman’s dedication to the stars, and the human touch that makes life under the vast sky beautiful and timeless.
Silent Sky guide sections