Episode Description

Cecilia Payne was in her early 20s when she figured out what the stars are made of. Both she and her groundbreaking findings were ahead of their time. Continuing the legacy of women working at the Harvard Observatory, Cecilia charted the way for a generation of female astronomers to come. This episode of Lost Women of Science: shorts follows Cecilia’s journey of discovery, journals her drive and determination against all odds, and takes you to the Harvard Observatory itself to walk in Cecilia’s footsteps.

Cecilia Payne


  • Dava Sobel is the author of the book “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars”. 
  • Marissa Moss is an author.
  • Thom Burns is the curator of the Astronomical Glass Plate Collection at the Harvard Observatory.


  • Katie Hafner
  • Luca Evans


  • Luca Evans (producer)
  • Dominique Janee (associate producer)
  • Barbara Howard (managing senior producer)


Episode Transcript

All Episodes