The Atlantic Bookshelf

A Guide to Good Books

DR. HARLOW SHAPLEY is an explorer in the large sense of the word. While the rest of us stay put, he is feeling his way through millions of miles and æons of time. An astronomer born and bred, he received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1914. From New Jersey he moved to Mt. Wilson, California, where, as one might say of Byrd, he organized his own expeditions into the void, and made the most of seven years’observation. In 1921 he became director oi the Harvard Observatory at Cambridge, and there he has remained despite tempting offers, one of which would have made him president of one of our greatest universities. There is at Harvard a priceless collection of astronomical photographs taken periodically for nearly forty years at the University’s Station in South Africa. Using these as his charts, Dr. Shapley has explored the night and literally brought within our ken galaxies, stars, and star dust previously unknown.