ONE of the pioneers of the new era of astronomy opened by the application of the spectroscope and photographic plate to celestial bodies has just passed into silence, and though the memorial formed by his works remains with us, no new block can be added or detail elaborated by the hand of its builder. It is not given to many men of science to have their scientific careers associated so closely with new developments as was that of Sir William Huggins, whose death on May 13, at eighty-six years of age, we regret to record. It may almost be said that he was present at the birth of celestial spectroscopy; when he commenced his work nearly fifty years ago, he had a virgin field of study before him, so that “nearly every observation revealed a new fact, and almost every night's work was red-lettered by some discovery.” It was inevitable that some lines laid down in this early survey required modification as more exact instruments and methods became available, but the observations served their purpose in showing that new regions awaited exploration, and. Sir William Huggins lived to lead investigators into the realm thus gained for science, and to stimulate a new generation to study it in detail.
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G., R. Sir William Huggins, K.C.B., O.M., F.R.S . Nature 83, 342–343 (1910). https://doi.org/10.1038/083342a0