Add a captionFirst lady of Spectroscopy.  Dame Margaret Lindsay Huggins (nee Murray)(1848-1915) spent her childhood at 23 Longford Terrace, where she was a contemporary and neighbour of Sir Howard Grubb (above), where they they shared an interest in optical instruments. Margaret even constructed a small telescope herself to map stars by night and sunspots by day.   Indeed, it is said that Grubb had a hand in bringing together Margaret and her future husband Sir William Huggins already a distinguished astronomer.  They were married at Monkstown Church of Ireland on 8th Sept 1875.  He was 51, she was 27.

Although she often portrayed herself as her husband's able assistant, it is now accepted that she was the main impetus behind a programme of photographic spectroscopy.  Spectroscopy is the analysis of electromagnetic radiation (including visible light) to determine the properties of an astronomical object.  Much of her work relates to the study of the Orion Nebula, which showed that the nebula consisted of gases rather than stars as previously believed.