History of Scientific Women

Main achievements: Pioneer in the field of spectroscopy. Author of the Atlas of Representative Stellar Spectra.

Margaret Lindsay, Lady Huggins, born Margaret Lindsay Murray, was an 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).

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

Source: Wikipedia