Annie S. D. Maunder

British astronomer

Annie Scott Dill Maunder (née Russell) (14 April 1868 – 15 September 1947) was an Irish-British astronomer, who recorded the first evidence of the movement of sunspot emergence from the poles toward the equator over the sun's 11-year cycle. She was one of the leading astronomers of her time, but because of her gender, her contribution was often underplayed at the time. In 1915 she became the first woman elected to the Royal Astronomical Society, 20 years after being refused membership because of her gender.

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Early life and education

Annie Scott Dill Russell was born in 1868 in The Manse, Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland to William Andrew Russell and Hessy Nesbitt Russell (née Dill). Her father was the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Strabane until 1882. Her mother was the daughter of a minister at the same church. Annie was one of six children brought up in a devoutly Christian household with a "serious minded upbringing." All of the children were talented, high-level academics. Her older sister, Hester Dill Russell (later Smith), studied medicine under Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson at the London School of Medicine for Women. Hester qualified as the first exhibitioner in the final MB examination in 1891. Hester became a medical missionary in India and later married another medical missionary.

Annie and her sister Hester pursued secondary education at the Ladies Collegiate School in Belfast, which later became ...read more

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