By Lauren Gunderson
Based on the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, Silent Sky explores the simultaneously infuriating and mind-altering world female scientists experienced in the 19th century. Follow Henrietta and her female peers as they work in the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, prohibited from touching telescopes or collaborating on ideas. Forced to feed male egos by suppressing her own abilities, Henrietta joins a group of women “computers”, charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and dismisses the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta uses her free time 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 obligations to others. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believed in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.