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Visual Astronomy Display: October 2020

Image of the planet Venus

The Wolbach Library wishes good health to everyone during this unprecedented global crisis. Highlights… The 2020 October night sky features two full moons and views of Mars and the Andromeda galaxy; How Henrietta Swan Leavitt’s discovery of Cepheids helps astronomers measure distance; Spanish land-imaging mission SEOSAT-Ingenio soon to be launched;…

Learning Lab Collections

Henrietta Swan Leavitt at her desk

Today, the Wolbach Library has started publishing online educational collections on the Smithsonian Learning Lab platform. Project PHaEDRA is an initiative by the Wolbach Library, in collaboration with partners, to catalog, digitize, transcribe, and develop the metadata of over 2500 logbooks and notebooks produced by the Harvard Computers and early…

September Zooniverse Update

Hi everyone!             Sam and Nico here, the researchers behind Star Notes. We hope you are all doing well as the summer comes to a close. It’s been 8 months since the launch of our project, and we’re very grateful for everyone who assists with Star Notes. We appreciate your…

Visual Astronomy Display: September 2020

The Wolbach Library wishes good health to everyone during this unprecedented global crisis. Highlights… Why auroras can appear like pearl necklaces; Musician Beck uses NASA images and artificial intelligence to create cosmic art; Building a Venus rover with no electronic components; See Mars and Venus in the September sky; Fermilab…

Frank Kameny: Cold War Astronomy and the Lavender Scare

*With this blog series, we also hope to instigate meaningful conversations about our institution’s history. We therefore invite you to comment on our posts and share your thoughts with us. Franklin Edward Kameny decided at four-years-old that he was going to be a scientist. It was another year or two…

Developing an Anti-Racist Strategy for the Library

Background I came to the CfA in 2015, and in 2017 I became Head Librarian here. At that time, I decided I wanted to update the library’s mission. I also wanted to make explicit the library’s priorities (what we do) and guiding principles (how we do it). However, at the…

James Baker: WW2 and The Observatory Optical Project

*With this blog series, we also hope to instigate meaningful conversations about our institution’s history. We therefore invite you to comment on our posts and share your thoughts with us. In the summer of 1938, James Baker and his wife Elizabeth traveled to Stockholm for the annual meeting of the…

(Re)Introducing ORCiD@CfA

Image of the ORCiD logo

The Wolbach Library has updated our online tool for collecting CfA-affiliated ORCiDs. We are collecting CfA ORCiDs while developing our CfA bibliography in order to build a repository of CfA-affiliated research. Visit our new tool at orcid.wolba.ch, or browse your colleague’s research using our list of CfA ORCiDs! What is…

The Sinking of the S.S. Robin Goodfellow

On July 25, 1944, German submarine U-862 torpedoed and sunk the S.S. Robin Goodfellow, a U.S. freighter en route from Cape Town, South Africa to New York. A nearby British motor merchant received the distress signal, but was unable to intervene. None of the eight officers, thirty-three crewmen, or twenty-eight…

Dorrit Hoffleit: Harvard Astronomers in the Second World War

*With this blog series, we also hope to instigate meaningful conversations about our institution’s history. We therefore invite you to comment on our posts and share your thoughts with us. Dorrit Hoffleit moved to Cambridge, MA as a young teenager. Her older brother, then only fourteen himself, was a new…