Sir William Huggins
Sir William Huggins (February 7, 1824 – May 12, 1910)
(public domain image)

William Huggins was a wealthy british astronomer who had sold the family business and used the proceeds to establish a private observatory at Upper Tulse Hill, London. From his telescope he investigated the spectrum of stars and nebulae with one of the first astronomical spectrographs, proving that some nebula are gaseous in nature and not simply unresolved stars as believed by many astronomers of the day.

"On the evening of the 29th of August, 1864, I directed the telescope for the first time to a planetary nebula in Draco [NGC 6543]. The reader may now be able to picture to himself to some extent the feeling of excited suspense, mingled with a degree of awe, with which, after a few moments of hesitation, I put my eye to the spectroscope. Was I not about to look into a secret place of creation? I looked into the spectroscope. No spectrum such as I expected! A single bright line only!"

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