William Huggins

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Huggins, William


Born Feb. 7, 1824, in London; died there May 12, 1910. English astronomer. Fellow (from 1865) and president (1900–05) of the Royal Society of London.

Huggins was one of the first to make use of spectral analysis and photography in astronomy. In 1864 he positively established the existence of gaseous nebulas. He studied the chemical composition of stars. In 1868 he determined the radial velocities of a number of bright stars from the displacement of lines in their spectra. He showed that the spectra of comets differ from the spectra of gaseous nebulas and that carbon lines exist in cometary spectra. Huggins was one of the first to observe solar prominences at times other than during eclipses. In 1882 he photographed the solar corona under conditions other than eclipse conditions. In the period 1902–05 he studied the spectrum of radium.


“Sir William Huggins.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1910, vol. 71, pp. 261–70.
References in periodicals archive ?
GALILEO GALILEI, Isaac Newton, William Herschel, William Huggins, George Ellery Hale, Arthur Eddington, Harlow Shapley, and Edwin Hubble are all nicely profiled in this volume subtitled "The Astro-Physicists.
A more powerful tool for categorizing nebulae was forged in August 1864 when English amateur William Huggins observed the spectrum of the planetary NGC 6543 in Draco and realized that its light originated from a tenuous gas rather than from a mass of unresolved stars.
After learning of Bunsen and Kirchhoff's work in 1862, self-taught amateur astronomer William Huggins, at Upper Tulse Hill outside London, set his sights--and a spectroscope --on the wider universe.
In 1864 English amateur astronomer William Huggins examined NGC 6543 with a spectroscope.
Kirchhoff detected sodium in the outer atmosphere of the Sun, and a mere three years after that British astronomer William Huggins used spectroscopy to determine that many of the same elements present on Earth also exist in the stars.
Here, as part of a full-page entry, I found everything I wanted to know: "From 1868 William Huggins in London and Angelo Secchi in Rome attempted to detect Doppler line shifts by the visual observation of stellar spectra, but it was not until Hermann Carl Vogel and Julius Scheiner in Potsdam photographed stellar spectra in 1888-1892 that reliable Doppler shifts, for some fifty stars, were first observed.