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Born in 1858, Mary Adela Blagg went to school in London, and despite never attending college, she was able to become adept at advanced mathematics by studying her brother’s textbooks. It wasn’t until around 1904, however when she was in her late 40s, that astronomy became a consuming interest of hers after enrolling in a university extension course and attending a lecture series given by Joseph Hardcastle, grandson of the celebrated astronomer William Herschel who in 1781 discovered Uranus.

She was one of five women to be elected simultaneously to become Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. With the collaboration of Karl Müller, she produced a two volume set on standarizing the nomenclature. It became the standard reference on the subject. 

P.h.D. research by Kiara M Firpi Carrión

Last Updated:
3rd of March, 2020

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