Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

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Born and educated in Icons-flag-gb-eng.png England, Cecilia Helena Payne (1900-1979), married Icons-flag-ru.png Russian astronomer Sergei Gaposchkin. Initially studying at Cambridge University, she was one of the first astronomy graduates to enter Harvard College Observatory, in the Icons-flag-us.png United States. She studied the spectra of stars and suggested in her doctoral thesis that the different strengths of the absorption lines were a result of temperature differences, rather than elemental continent. She also suggested that hydrogen was the most abundant element in stars. Her ideas were originally dismissed, but finally accepted in 1929.

Sources[edit]

  • Universe by Martin Rees, ISBN 978-1-4093-7650-7