Margaret Lindsay Huggins

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Margaret Lindsay, Lady Huggins (born 14 August 1848, Dublin – died 24 March 1915, London),[1] born Margaret Lindsay Murray, was an Anglo-Irish scientific investigator and astronomer.

With her husband William Huggins she was a pioneer in the field of spectroscopy and co-authored the Atlas of Representative Stellar Spectra (1899).[2]

When Huggins was young, her mother died and her father remarried, leaving her on her own much of the time. Obituaries written by her friends attribute her interest in astronomy to her grandfather, a wealthy bank officer named Robert Murray. According to these sources, Margaret's grandfather taught her the constellations, and as a result of this she began studying the heavens with home-made instruments. She constructed a spectroscope after finding inspiration in articles on astronomy in the periodical Good Words.[3]

Huggins' interest and abilities in spectroscopy led to her introduction to the astronomer William Huggins, whom she married in 1875.[2] Evidence suggests that Huggins was instrumental in instigating William Huggins' successful program in photographic research.[3] She was a contributor to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.


  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (1986). Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century, A Biographical Dictionary with Annotated Bibliography. Cambridge: The MIT Press. pp. 101–102. 
  3. ^ a b Becker, Barbara (1993). "Eclecticism, Opportunism, and the Evolution of a New Research Agenda: William and Margaret Huggins and the Origins of Astrophysics". PhD Thesis. The Johns Hopkins University. p. Chapter 4, Part 1. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 

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