Burbidge, Margaret

Burbidge, Margaret, 1925–2020, Anglo-American astronomer, b. England as Eleanor Margaret Peachey. Burbidge; her husband, Geoffrey Burbidge; William Fowler; and Sir Fred Hoyle showed (1956) how heavier elements can be built up from lighter ones in the interiors of stars. Associated with the Univ. of California, San Diego, from 1962 (as a professor from 1964, emeritus from 1990), she headed (1979–88) the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences and helped develop the Hubble Space Telescope's Faint Object Spectrograph. Burbidge was the first woman appointed director (1972–73) of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and was president (1983) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She became a U.S. citizen in 1977.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Astronomy: Biographies