Henrietta Swan Leavitt 1869年7月4日出生于马萨诸塞州，出生于George Roswell Leavitt和Henrietta Swan。对她的私人生活知之甚少。作为一名大学生，她学习了许多科目，在她后来成为拉德克利夫学院的岁月中爱上了天文学。她花了几年时间环游世界，然后回到波士顿地区继续深造并在天文学领域工作。Leavitt从未结婚，被认为是一个认真的，教堂式的女人，没有多少时间浪费在更多轻浮的生活方面。她的同事形容她愉快而友善，并非常重视她所做的工作的重要性。由于情况只会随着时间的推移而恶化，她开始因年轻女性而失去听力。1893年，她在天文学家皮克林的指导下开始在哈佛大学天文台工作。他指导了一群女性，被称为“电脑”。这些“计算机”通过研究天空的照片和恒星的编目特性进行了重要的天文学研究。女性不允许使用望远镜，这限制了他们进行自己研究的能力。该项目通过仔细比较恒星，通过查看几星期相隔的恒星照片来寻找变星。 Leavitt使用了一种称为“眨眼比较器”的仪器，允许她测量恒星的亮度变化。克莱德汤博在二十世纪三十年代曾用于发现冥王星的仪器。起初，Leavitt承担了无偿支付项目（因为她有自己的收入），但最终她以每小时三十美分的价格被雇用。皮克林因Leavitt的大部分工作而受到好评，他在这方面建立了自己的声誉。
英国利兹大学天文学代写：天文学家Henrietta Swan Leavitt的生平与发现
Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born on July 4, 1869, in Massachusetts to George Roswell Leavitt and Henrietta Swan. Little is known about her private life. As a college student, she studied a number of subjects, falling in love with astronomy during her years at what later became Radcliffe College. She spent some years traveling around the world before settling back in the Boston area to pursue further studies and work in astronomy.Leavitt never married and was considered a serious, church-going woman with little time to waste on more frivolous aspects of life. Her co-workers described her as pleasant and friendly, and very focused on the importance of the work she was doing. She began to lose her hearing as a young woman due to a condition that only worsened with time.In 1893 she began working at Harvard College Observatory under the direction of astronomer E.C. Pickering. He directed a group of women, dubbed merely as “computers”. These “computers” conducted important astronomy research by studying photograph plates of the sky and cataloging characteristics of stars. The women were not allowed to operate telescopes, which limited their ability to conduct their own research. The project involved careful comparisons of stars by looking at photographs of star fields taken several weeks apart to look for variable stars. Leavitt used an instrument called a “blink comparator” which allowed her to measure brightness changes of stars. It’s the same instrument that Clyde Tombaugh used in the 1930s to discover Pluto. At first, Leavitt took on the project for no pay (since she had her own income), but eventually, she was hired at a rate of thirty cents an hour.Pickering took credit for much of Leavitt’s work, building his own reputation on it.