Margaret Burbidge, British-US astronomer

Margaret Burbidge, British-US astronomer

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Credit: LUCINDA DOUGLAS-MENZIES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eleanor Margaret Burbidge (born 1919, nee Peachey), British-US astrophysicist. Together with Fowler, Hoyle and her husband Geoffrey (married 1948), she showed how heavier elements form from lighter ones in stars. By studying galaxy spectra she determined their rotational speed, chemical composition, and mass. She also performed much research on the spectra of quasars. She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1964, and was director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory (1972-3). From 1979 to 1988, she was first director of the Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences at the University of California at San Diego, USA. Photographed in 2008.

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