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Margaret Burbidge

BURBIDGE, Margaret Eleanor, English astrophysicist, b-1919. She had worked with Fred Hoyle and others on quasi-stellar objects and star spectroscopy (1953). This resulted in her being a co-author of ‘Synthesis of the Elements in the Stars’, expressing the theory that the heavy element content of a star is a function of the star’s age. When stars become visible, the light is due to energy released as hydrogen becomes helium. Margaret then co-authored ‘Quasi-Stellar Objects’ (with her husband, in 1967). Prior to the 1984 shuttle launch, Margaret had worked with NASA on creation of a Faint-Object Spectrograph. Awarded an FRS and fellowship of the NAS in 1964. Then in 1981 she was President of the AAAS. One of many successful husband and wife teams in astronomy research.


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